Hang Seng Index (HSI) - Introduction
Hang Seng Index (HSI), the benchmark of the Hong Kong stock market, is one of the best known indices in Asia and widely used by fund managers as their performance benchmark.
The HSI is a market capitalisation-weighted index (shares outstanding multiplied by stock price) of the constituent stocks. The influence of each stock on the index's performance is directly proportional to its relative market value. Constituent stocks with higher market capitalisation will have greater impact on the index's performance than those with lower market capitalisation. The constituent stocks are grouped under Commerce and Industry, Finance, Properties and Utilities sub-indices.
Characteristics of HSI:
HSI futures and options facilitate hedging activities in a cost-effective way as these contracts are traded on a margin basis. The margin to carry an open position is only a fraction of the contracted value.
Low Transaction Costs
As the total value of high-capitalisation stocks represented in each HSI futures and options contract is substantial and only one commission is charged to establish or liquidate a contract, transaction costs are low when compared to purchasing or selling the constituent stocks.
Clearing House Guarantee
HSI futures and options are registered, cleared and guaranteed by the HKFE Clearing Corporation (HKCC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the HKFE. The HKCC acts as the counter-party to all open contracts, which effectively eliminates counter-party risks between its HKCC Participants. The HKCC guarantee does not cover an HKCC Participant's obligations to its clients. Investors should exercise due care and diligence when deciding through whom they will conduct business.