Hang Seng Index Futures & Options
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 Hang Seng Index is a market capitalisation-weighted index (shares outstanding multiplied by stock price) of the 34 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 34 constituent stocks are grouped under Commerce and Industry, Finance, Properties and Utilities sub-indices. These stocks account for about 70% of the total market capitalisation of all stocks listed on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Ltd. (SEHK).
To meet the growing interests in the Hong Kong stock market and rising demand for related hedging tools, the Hong Kong Futures Exchange (HKFE) first introduced Hang Seng Index futures contracts in May 1986 followed by the introduction of Hang Seng Index options contracts in March 1993. These contracts provide investors with a set of effective instruments to manage portfolio risk and to capture index arbitrage opportunities. The popularity of Hang Seng Index futures and options has developed gradually with increasing domestic and international investors' participation.
* Proven Markets
HSI futures and options allow experienced and novice investors alike to participate in the performance of 34 constituent stocks in the index. As both local and international investors regard Hang Seng Index as a time-tested benchmark for the Hong Kong equity market and yardstick of portfolio performance, these contracts are consistently used by different investors for trading and risk management purposes.
* Cost Effective
HSI Index 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.