Here Is Why China and India Shouldn't Be Called Emerging Markets

The world's stock markets' total market capitalization has more than doubled over the past 13 years to $65.6 trillion, and Asia's so-called emerging markets are responsible for a lot of the growth.

In absolute terms, U.S. markets have accounted for a lot of the growth, too, even though their market cap is up a comparatively weak 87% since 2003.

Other so-called developed markets such as France, Japan and the U.K. have also seen their total market cap grow over the past 13 years but less than the rest of the world overall.

The U.K. has the fifth-largest market cap, but it is only 36% higher than it was in 2003. France is in seventh place by market cap, which has increased 46% over the same time period.

Of course, European markets have been hampered by European Union sclerosis, slowing economies, and seemingly never-ending currency and union troubles.

But look at China and India.

China is the world's second-largest economy and is in second place by market cap. In 2003, China's total stock market cap was $418 billion, but since then it has grown an amazing 1,479% to $6.6 trillion.

So, it took China just 13 years to pass every European country and Japan in total market cap. China's stock markets are worth more than France, Germany and Switzerland's combined.

India has also been catching up quickly. It is still well behind China in terms of market size, but it is gaining on nearly every other country.

India's market cap is up 639% since 2003, more than every other country in the global Top 10, except China.

Because of this incredible growth in market cap over the past 13 years, Asian markets are responsible for a bigger slice of the global market cap pie.

The one Asian exception is Japan. Its share of global market cap has fallen more than 3 percentage points since 2003.

Japan has some major fundamental economic problems that will slow its economic growth, and these problems may be spreading to the rest of the world.

Even though its market cap has increased, the relative size of American stock markets has dramatically decreased. The U.S. accounts for 36% of the world's market cap -- still way more than any other country -- but that is down from 45% in 2003.

Europe's markets' decline has been even sharper.

But China is heading in the opposite direction. China has 10.1% of the world's market cap, almost seven times the 1.5% it had in 2003. Back then, China's stock markets were smaller than sparsely populated Canada's and tiny Switzerland's.

And India has 2.6% of the world's total stock market value, up from just 0.8% in 2003. It is almost even with Canada, France and Germany in the global rankings.

The center of economic and market growth has been shifting east for some time. Western economies are still relatively large, but the gap between them and the large emerging Asian economies is shrinking.

This is especially noticeable in the change in the relative sizes of their stock markets.

The U.S. still has a big lead. But Europe is in decline.

And it is only a matter of time before China and India surpass most so-called developed Western economies in terms of market size and many other economic measures.

China and India are no longer emerging markets. They have arrived.

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We write about how China - and the rest of Asia - are no longer "emerging" every day, from Singapore... Click here to sign up to receive our free daily e-letter, the Truewealth Asian Investment Daily.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. 

Kim Iskyan is the founder of Truewealth Publishing, an independent investment research company based in Singapore. Click here to sign up to receive the Truewealth Asian Investment Daily in your inbox every day, for free.

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