The mainland's stock markets were the world's best performers among major exchanges in the first half of this year, the South China Morning Post reported. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 44% and the Shenzhen Composite Index climbed 55.4%. Russia, with a 32.8% increase, and India, up 12.9%, were the next best performers, though both indices fell sharply as rising global interest rates saw investors flee emerging markets in May. China's closed capital account and currency controls meant both mainland exchanges escaped unharmed from the May sell-off. China's markets have been near the bottom of the pile for the last four years, bottoming out to eight-year lows in June 2005. The turnaround follows market reforms by the government, including a year-long suspension of new share sales, increased foreign investment quotas and a program to float non-tradable state-owned shares, which made up 60% of market capitalization.