SHANGHAI, Nov 8 (Reuters) – Just two months after MSCI introduced its China mega-cap index, the first exchange-traded funds (ETFs) tracking the new index began trading in China on Monday, armed with $4 billion, matching the tracking money the long-established FTSE China A50. The red-hot debut of the four ETFs – two in Shanghai and two in Shenzhen – came after the funds, based on the MSCI China A50 Connect Index (.MICN0A5C0PCY), raised 26.7 billion yuan ($4.17 billion) in China. That put the MSCI index, which was launched on Aug. 20, virtually at par with the roughly $4 billion in global ETF money currently tracking the rival FTSE China A50 Index (.FTXIN9C), which was launched in 2003. Global index publishers are in a fierce battle to woo investors with innovative tools to bet on China’s giant onshore “A share” market, and MSCI’s big splash will put pressure on FTSE Russell to come up with something new. Having seen investor interest in its flagship China A-share index fade in the past few years, FTSE Russell, part of the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG.L), said on Friday it had recently launched consultations with market participants regarding the use of its China A index offering, and was reviewing the results for possible changes. FTSE China A50 has a wide market impact but MSCI has the late-mover advantage, said Duan Shihua, head of Shanghai Changer Investment Management Consulting.

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