A bull sculpture in front of stock prices (red for gains) at the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Photo: Reuters/Tyrone Siu

Global benchmark index provider MSCI is once again considering whether or not to include mainland Chinese A-shares in its emerging market index, reports the Wall Street Journal.

China is the biggest domestic market not featured in MSCI’s flagship indices, and inclusion of China’s domestically traded A-shares could divert billions of dollars’ of capital to Asia’s biggest markets.

Since MSCI first consulted fund managers on the issue in 2014, China launched the Shenzhen Stock Connect in 2016, allowing global investors for the first time to directly buy stocks from the country’s second biggest market. The move added momentum to a push to include China’s shares this year.

There remain concerns, however, regarding Chinese regulations, and the new proposal has removed two-thirds of stocks included in previous proposals, including those that have been suspended for more than 50 days.

Nevertheless the odds of inclusion are increasing, according to senior investment specialist at BNP Investment Partners Hue Lu.