What Is the Hang Seng Index (HSI)? Definition and Statistics

What Is the Hang Seng Index (HSI)?

The Hang Seng Index or HSI is a free-float market capitalization-weighted index of the sixty largest companies that trade on the Hong Kong Exchange (HKEx). HKEx is among the largest stock exchanges in the world, with an aggregate market cap of more than $38 trillion as of 2022.

It is widely considered the benchmark equity market index for Hong Kong, and often a barometer of Asian markets more generally.

Key Takeaways

  • The Hang Seng Index (HSI) is a benchmark for blue-chip stocks traded on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
  • The index is composed of four sub-sector indices in industry, finance, utilities, and real estate investment trusts.
  • The index uses a free-float market capitalization weighting scheme with a 10% cap on any one component's index weight.

Understanding the Hang Seng Index

The Hang Seng is the most widely quoted barometer for the Hong Kong economy and is often used as a market benchmark for Hong Kong investors. Because of Hong Kong's status as a special administrative region of China, there are close ties between the two economies, and many Chinese companies are listed on the Hong Kong Exchange.

The index aims to capture the leadership of the Hong Kong exchange and covers approximately 65% of its total market capitalization.

How the Hang Seng Index Is Structured

The HSI is a free-float-adjusted market capitalization-weighted index that is calculated and disseminated in real-time at two-second intervals during the trading hours of the Hong Kong stock exchange (HKEx). The HSI is classified as a price index without adjustments made for cash dividends or warrant bonuses.

An 8% capping is applied to avoid any single stock domination of the index. The index targets 60 stocks, but the exact number of constituents can vary slightly at any given time. As of April 2022, there were, in fact, 66 stocks in the index. A committee convenes quarterly to evaluate the index components and decide if companies should be added or removed.

The largest constituents of the Hang Seng Index include Tencent, Alibaba, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Meituan, and the China Construction Bank.

Hang Seng members also fall into one of four sub-indexes, including commerce and industry, finance, utilities, and properties.

The Hang Seng HK 35 is a sub-index of just the top 35 Hong-Kong based companies that also generate most of their revenues outside of mainland China. The Hang Seng Composite is an index of the top 95% of stocks trading on the Hong Kong exchange by market cap, comprising around 500 stocks.

A subsidiary of the Hang Seng Bank maintains the Hang Seng Index and has done so since 1969.

Hang Seng Components

The top thirty holdings in the Hang Seng Index as of April 2022 were (in no particular order):

  1. China Mengniu Dairy Company Limited
  2. CITIC Limited
  3. Techtronic Industries Company Limited
  4. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited
  5. China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation
  6. New World Development Company Limited
  7. CLP Holdings Limited
  8. The Hong Kong and China Gas Company Limited
  9. CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Limited
  10. Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited
  11. Hengan International Group Company Limited
  12. Henderson Land Development Company Limited
  13. China Resources Land Limited
  14. CK Infrastructure Holdings Limited
  15. ENN Energy Holdings Limited
  16. China Life Insurance Company Limited
  17. ANTA Sports Products Limited
  18. CNOOC Limited
  19. Nongfu Spring Co., Ltd.
  20. Li Ning Company Limited
  21. Lenovo Group Limited
  22. Hang Lung Properties Limited
  23. Country Garden Services Holdings Company Limited
  24. Xiaomi Corporation
  25. AAC Technologies Holdings Inc.
  26. WuXi Biologics (Cayman) Inc.
  27. Alibaba Health Information Technology Limited
  28. Meituan
  29. JD.com, Inc.
  30. Alibaba Group Holding Limited

How Many Stocks Are in the Hang Seng Index?

The Hang Seng Index (HSI) is composed of the 60 largest stocks traded on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, although at any given time, there may be slightly more or less than 60. The Hong Kong Exchange, for reference, has the stocks of around 2,500 companies listed.

How Do You Invest In the Hang Seng Index?

If you don't live in Hong Kong, you can still invest in the HSI via Hong Kong ETFs such as the iShares MSCI Hong Kong ETF (EWH) and the Franklin FTSE Hong Kong ETF (FLHK). The KraneShares Hong Kong Tech ETF (KTEC) tracks 30 high-tech stocks in the Hang Seng Composite.

What Is the Biggest Stock Market in Asia?

Japan's stock exchange is the largest equity market in Asia, and second place belongs to the Shanghai Stock Exchange in mainland China. The Honk Kong Exchange comes in third, followed by China's Shenzen Exchange.

Article Sources
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  2. Hang Seng. "Hang Seng Index."

  3. Hang Seng. "HSI Fact Sheet."

  4. Hang Seng. "Hang Seng HK 35."

  5. Hang Seng. "Hang Seng Composite Index."

  6. Yahoo! Finance. "Hang Seng Components."

  7. Statista. "Leading stock exchanges in the Asia Pacific region."