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FTSE Russell cuts three more China firms from indexes after U.S. blacklist

FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen outside the entrance of the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain. Aug 23, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) -FTSE Russell will delete a further three firms from its global equity indexes after guidance on an executive order by outgoing President Donald Trump barring U.S. investments in some Chinese companies, a hardening of his stance against Beijing.

China United Network Communications, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) and Nanjing Panda Electronics will be deleted from FTSE Russell’s FTSE Global Equity Index Series as well as the FTSE Global China A Inclusion Indexes from Thursday.

FTSE Russell said on Monday it will also remove SMIC, China’s top microchip maker, from its FTSE China 50 Index and video security firm Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology from its FTSE China A50 index having removed it from the FTSE Global Equity Index Series last month.

Washington unveiled an executive order in November prohibiting U.S. investments in Chinese companies it said are owned or controlled by the Chinese military. Dozens more were then added to the blacklist in December.

Other global index providers including the New York Stock Exchange, MSCI, S&P Dow Jones Indices and Nasdaq have also removed firms from their benchmarks.

Shares in China’s three biggest telecoms firms China Mobile, China Telecom Corp and China Unicom Hong Kong fell as much as 5% in Hong Kong on Monday, the first trading session since the NYSE said it would delist them.

The London Stock Exchange also said on Monday here that it will start proceedings to delist China Mobile and China Unicom from the Global Equity Segment of the exchange with effect from close of business Jan. 4 as those securities had been admitted to trading on the basis of their NYSE primary listing. A GES listing here allows investors in London to trade shares such as the American Depositary Receipts of Asian companies during London hours.

China has called the moves “unwise” and oppressive.

Reporting by Karin Strohecker and Marc Jones; additional reporting by Megan Davies; Editing by Alexander Smith and Lisa Shumaker

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