MSCI also outlined plans to include more A-shares in the future, including mid-cap stocks. This expansion would require further reforms to open up China’s equity market to foreign investors, such as the removal of trading limits and a “significant” reduction in share suspensions, Melas said.The addition of A-shares to global benchmarks was widely anticipated following the Stock Connect project, which opened up access to and improved communications between domestic Chinese exchanges. Investors responding to MSCI’s consultation said this had proven to be a more flexible path to access domestic equities than via Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) and Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII) licensing regimes.Yannan Chenye, head of China equities research at Harvest Global Investments, said: “Inclusion in the MSCI index family is a strong signal of greater market openness, and it will undoubtedly help the A-Share market to attract broader attention and participation of international investors. This sharp increase in international market participants will substantially change fundamental features of the market.”Although the initial impact of the additions would be “slight”, Chenye said a “more balanced investor structure with a higher proportion of institutional investors (both domestic and overseas) will likely result in a change of investment style” in the domestic markets.In commentary issued this morning, specialist emerging markets manager East Capital urged investors to “speed up the development of their research capabilities and infrastructure operations” if they plan to properly access this market.“It will take a few years but at the end of the process, China A-shares might represent as much as 20% of the MSCI Emerging Markets index,” East Capital said.Gary Greenberg, head of emerging markets at Hermes Investment Management, was more cautious, as many of the firms due to enter MSCI indices next year had not fully grasped the requirements of being a listed company.“We continue to encounter managements of large A-share companies who have yet to appoint an investor relations officer and who see no reason for senior management to meet shareholders,” HE said. “The ability to communicate with foreign investors, even in companies with worldwide operations, tends to be less than world class. For businesses with top line revenues that can top $15bn, this should have been fixed by now.”Investors can already access Chinese domestic companies via listings on exchanges in Hong Kong, Singapore, the US, and the UK.In addition to the China A-shares decision, MSCI announced that it would consult on adding Saudi Arabia to its emerging markets universe next year.The index provider delayed decisions on the future classification of Argentina and Nigeria. Argentina, it said, would not be upgraded to emerging market status as investors had warned market reforms “needed to remain in place for a longer time period to be deemed irreversible”.For Nigeria, MSCI said it would postpone until November a ruling on whether the country should be cut from its frontier markets index to allow investors to assess a new trading window introduced by the country’s central bank. An estimated $17bn (€15.3bn) could flow into China’s domestic market as a result of MSCI’s decision to include A-shares in two of its leading index series for the first time.The index provider has approved 222 large-cap stocks listed on China’s Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges for inclusion in its emerging markets and all-countries indices, effective from next year.It follows an “extensive consultation” with asset owners and asset managers, both passive and active, said Sebastien Lieblich, global head of index management research at MSCI.The new stocks will make up roughly 0.73% of the MSCI Emerging Markets index and will be added in two tranches in May and August 2018. Dimitris Melas, managing director and global head of equity research at MSCI, estimated that this could trigger inflows of roughly $17bn based on the volume of passive assets tracking this benchmark.
Junior forward Mark Zengerle was the top returning scorer in the nation from last season but could miss several weeks.[/media-credit]No matter who is on the roster or what the stats sheet says, some teams simply know how to beat another team, time and again.The Wisconsin men’s hockey team (1-4-1, 1-2-1 WCHA) opened its home slate last weekend against precisely that kind of team – Colorado College (5-3-0, 2-0-0) – which always finds a way to best the Badgers.“Sometimes teams just have your number and I have no idea why,” senior forward Ryan Little said. “We’ve struggled with them ever since I’ve been here. If I knew why I would do everything in my power to change it. It’s just how it is right now.”Head coach Mike Eaves was unable to explain the phenomenon, especially given the extreme differences in the way the games played out Friday and Saturday.With plenty of emotion between the rink dedication to former Wisconsin head coach Bob Johnson and the home opener Friday night, the Badgers started out hot, netting two goals in the first period. But with a weak showing in the second, emphasized by a 17-7 difference in shots on goal in favor of CC, the Tigers tied things up 2-2.After a back-and-forth third period, the game went into overtime, where CC ended things quickly, scoring 25 seconds in for the 5-4 game-winner. The Badgers only managed 26 shots on goal to the Tigers’ 39.Saturday night was an entirely different affair. While both teams combined for nine goals in game one of the series, CC goaltender Joe Howe made 33 saves to keep UW off the board. Colorado College netted three goals off 22 shots on goal for a 3-0 game two decision and the series sweep – for the second season in a row.Last year, CC swept UW 4-2, 4-1 at home, and in 2010-11 it ended UW’s postseason run by winning the final two games of a best-of-three series in the first round of the WCHA playoffs. The last time the Badgers won a regular season matchup with the Tigers was Jan. 15, 2010, with a 4-0 decision in game one of a series in Colorado Springs, Colo.Bad breaksIf the results weren’t offensive enough for the Badgers, a Mark Zengerle broken finger adds yet another hurdle to the season.The Badgers opened the second period of game two short-handed, as Michael Mersch was serving an interference penalty that carried over from the first period. The top centerman blocked a shot with his hand, ultimately breaking his left index finger. He reportedly knew it was broken the second it happened and will miss four-to-six weeks.The Badgers need to find a way to fill in for Zengerle while he heals simply because it’s a tough blow to their offense. The Rochester, N.Y., native was the top returning scorer in the nation from last season, posting 13 goals and 37 assists in 2011-12 for 50 points and scoring a point in every game this season before the injury.“Losing a guy like Mark is a big impact on the team,” junior forward Tyler Barnes said. “He’s a great player, but we can’t worry about what we could or couldn’t do without him. He’s out for now.”“If we want to make a blanket statement, it makes it more difficult for us to score goals than it has been,” Eaves said. “… There’s going to be a hole there for a while.”Size mattersWhile Wisconsin didn’t give a consistent performance against Colorado College, that inconsistency was most noticeable in Friday night’s 5-4 overtime loss. With a strong first period, the Badgers didn’t keep up the pressure in the second and barely kept it up in the third.Eaves is not one to make excuses, but he did point out the Badgers’ unfamiliarity with their own home rink in game one’s postgame press conference, noting they have not played on the Bob Johnson Rink regularly since September and instead practice at the adjacent LaBahn Arena – their new practice rink.“I wouldn’t say that’s an excuse whatsoever,” sophomore defenseman Jake McCabe said. “Granted there is seven more feet on the width of the ice sheet but … our systems have to adapt to the different dimensions of the rink and we can’t use that as an excuse.”Follow Kelly on Twitter