Stocks in China’s major indices hit an 18-month high on Wednesday, despite a downturn in global markets, after the announcement that a selection of Chinese domestic A-shares would be included in MSCI’s flagship emerging market index.

“This is the start of a process through which Chinese equities will achieve a prominence in global investors’ portfolios that reflects the size and significance of China’s domestic stock market and its economy,” Helen Wong of HSBC was quoted by the Financial Times as saying. She stressed the decision is a “pivotal moment.”

The index will add 222 large-cap stocks which will account for only 0.73% of the index, according to FT, while Chinese stocks listed offshore already account for 27% of the index.