Founded in 1984, the Hang Seng index is made up of the Hong Kong stock market’s largest companies by market capitalisation. If you want to get exposure to this key global market, the Hang Seng index could be a good starting point. Here’s what you need to know about how to invest in the Hang Seng.
What is the Hang Seng?
The Hang Seng is a stock market index that tracks the performance of some of the biggest, blue-chip companies listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. It comprises 4 sub-indexes: finance, industry, real estate investment trusts and utilities. The index aims to include a total of 60 companies, though the actual number can fluctuate slightly around this target.
Can I invest in the Hong Kong stock market from the UK?
Yes. These days, many share-trading platforms and brokers offer access to Hong Kong stock markets. One of the most straightforward ways to gain exposure to the Hong Kong stock market is to invest in index or tracker funds that mirror the performance of the Hang Seng index.
Top companies from the Hang Seng to invest in
There are some well-known international brands on the Hang Seng index, including mobile phone manufacturer Xiaomi, laptop producer Lenovo and online retail giant Alibaba, alongside a number of Chinese firms you may not have heard of.
Regardless of whether you’ve heard of a company, it’s important to do your due diligence by thoroughly researching the prospects of any company you’re thinking of investing in.
How do I invest in the Hang Seng from the UK
There are 2 main ways to invest in the Hang Seng. You can buy shares in each individual company (or a selection of them). Alternatively, you can invest in an ETF or index fund that tracks the performance of the Hang Seng. To do either, you’ll need to follow the following steps:
- Open a share trading account. In order to invest in a Hang Seng fund, you’ll need to open a trading account with a broker or platform. Keep in mind that some index funds may only be available on certain brokerages or platforms. The providers in our comparison table below let you invest in Worldwide shares. We’ve also listed some funds that are on the Hang Seng Stock Exchange.
- Choose your stocks, or select a Hang Seng fund. Some index funds track the performance of all Hang Seng stocks. Others may only track a certain number of stocks or be weighted more towards specific stocks. You should select the fund that best suits your investment goals.
- Deposit funds. You’ll need to deposit funds into your account to begin trading. Some brokers may charge you deposit fees, or you may need to pay a forex fee in order for your pounds to be converted into US dollars.
- Buy the fund or shares. Once your money has been deposited, you can then buy the Hang Seng index fund or individual shares. You’ll generally pay a small annual fee to invest in an ETF or index fund. Investing in shares will incur trading fees, often for every company you buy shares in.
Best trading platform for index funds: Saxo
Capital at risk
- Invest in over 19,000 stocks, funds and investment trusts.
- Use its award-winning trading platforms.
- Customer support is available 24 hours a day.
Need to know: Opening a Saxo share dealing account requires a high minimum investment (£500).
Read our review of Saxo.
What stocks are on the Hang Seng?
As of 10 October 2022, the following companies are on the Hang Seng index (by market capitalisation):
- Tencent Holdings Limited
- Alibaba Group Holding Limited
- China Construction Bank
- China Mobile Ltd
- AIA Group Limited
- HSBC Holdings plc
- JD.com, Inc.
- CNOOC Ltd
- NetEase, Inc
- HKEx Limited
- Baidu, Inc
- Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
- Ping An Insurance
- BOC Hong Kong (Holdings) Ltd
- Budweiser Brewing Company APAC Limited
- Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited
- ANTA Sports Products Limited
- China Overseas Land & Investment Limited
- Hang Seng Bank Ltd
- Nongfu Spring Co., Ltd.
- China Resources Land Limited
- Xiaomi Corporation
- MTR Corporation Ltd
- Bank of China Ltd
- CITIC Pacific Ltd
- BYD Co. Ltd
- Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd.
- WuXi Biologics (Cayman) Inc.
- China Resources Beer
- CK Asset Holdings Limited
- CK Hutchison Holdings Limited
- Li Ning Company Limited
- Sands China Ltd
- China Merchants Bank
- Chow Tai Fook
- CLP Holdings Limited
- Techtronic Industries
- Longfor Group Holdings Limited
- Hong Kong and China Gas Company Limited
- Mengniu Dairy
- Wharf Real Estate Investment Company Limited
- ENN Energy Holdings Limited
- The Link REIT
- China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited
- Henderson Land Development Company Limited
- Geely Auto
- Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Limited
- Shenzhou International
- CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd
- Sinopec Corp
- Orient Overseas (International) Ltd
- Power Assets Holdings Limited
- Sunny Optical
- China Shenhua Energy
- Zhongsheng Group Holdings Limited
- China Life
- PetroChina Company Limited
- Xinyi Solar Holdings Limited
- Sino Biopharm
- Hansoh Pharmaceutical Group
- Lenovo Group
- WH Group
- Hang Lung Properties Limited
- China Hongqiao Group Ltd
- New World Development Company Limited
- Alibaba Health Information Technology Limited
- Xinyi Glass Holdings Limited
- Country Garden
- CG Services
- Hengan International Group Co. Ltd
Is there a Hang Seng ETF?
Yes. Investing in an exchange traded fund (ETF) is one of the easiest ways to get exposure to the Hang Seng index. ETFs are virtual portfolios of stocks that are created to reflect the behaviour of an underlying index, such as the Hang Seng.
Many Hang Seng ETFs will track the performance of the full Hang Seng index, though you may also find some ETFs that track only a subset – such as Hang Seng technology companies.
Hang Seng ETFs
- Hang Seng Investment Index Funds Series III – Hang Seng FTSE China 50 ETF
- Hang Seng China A Share ETF Series – Hang Seng China A Industry Top Index ETF
- Hang Seng Investment Index Funds Series – Hang Seng CEI ETF
- Amundi Hang Seng HK 35 Index ETF
- Hang Seng TECH Index ETF
What are the Hang Seng trading hours?
You can trade stocks on the Hong Kong stock market from 9:30am to 4pm Monday to Friday Hong Kong standard time (that’s 1:30am to 8am in GMT, so you’ll need to be an early bird to get the worm). On some public holidays, the Hong Kong stock market is closed between midday and 1pm.
Compare Hang Seng share trading platforms
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
Investing in the Hang Seng is a popular way to gain exposure to Chinese investments. You can either invest in ETFs or funds that track the index or choose shares in individual companies that are listed. Make sure you choose a broker that lets you trade international stocks, and check trading fees (including any extra ones for overseas trades) before you begin.
Frequently asked questions
All investing should be regarded as longer term. The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. If you’re not sure which investments are right for you, please seek out a financial adviser. Capital at risk.
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