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China to be added to FTSE global bond benchmark in 2021

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NEW YORK, Sept 24 (Reuters) - FTSE Russell will add Chinese government bonds to its flagship World Government Bond Index (WGBI) starting in 2021 and pending confirmation in March, the index provider said on Thursday.

Chinese government bonds, a $1.5 trillion market, are already a part of the JPMorgan and Bloomberg Barclays index suites. But the FTSE WGBI has a far larger passive band of investors following it.

Goldman Sachs estimates there is $2.5 trillion of global cash following the WGBI, and China's inclusion could drive $140 billion into mainland bonds over the inclusion period.

Malaysian bonds will remain on the watchlist, FTSE Russell said.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos in New York and Karin Strohecker in London; Editing by Sandra Maler)