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Investors Returning to China ETFs

The Chinese economy is showing signs of stabilizing after a prolonged slowdown. A series of encouraging data has renewed confidence propelling investors to return to this market (read: Is It Finally Time for China ETFs?).
 
As per National Bureau of Statistics of China, China’s GDP grew 6.7% in the first quarter of 2016. Even though the growth rate was slightly lower than the GDP growth of 6.8% witnessed in the fourth quarter of 2015, as per a survey by Chinese financial data provider, Wind Information, the first quarter GDP growth rate was above economists’ expectations. The numbers indicate that that the Chinese economy is on a rebound.
 
Investor sentiment toward China also received a major boost when the International Monetary Fund, which recently lowered its world economic outlook, revised its full-year projection for China upward. IMF now expects China to grow 6.5% as compared to its prior expectation of 6.3%.
 
In March, China’s economy showed recovery over several data points. Exports in China picked up in the month and grew by 11.5% year-over-year in U.S. dollar terms, for the first time since June 2015. The rise came in stark contrast to a fall of 25.4% in February. Although, sustainability of the export growth can be questioned as it was primarily driven by the weakness of the yuan, the reassuring factor can’t be ignored (read: How to Celebrate Chinese New Year with ETFs).
 
Industrial production grew by 6.8% in March, up from January’s and February’s average of 5.4%, while retail sales rose 10.5% as compared to the year-ago period and higher than 10.2% seen in the first two months of 2016.
 
These encouraging results come closely on the heels of Chinese authorities implementing several reforms and introducing stimulus measures (read: ETFs to Gain from China's Added Stimulus).
 
Although several headwinds remain, a series of upbeat data including solid export data is boosting investors’ sentiment and rekindling hopes of a stabilizing economy. Whatever the case, it seems that the road ahead for the Chinese stocks and ETFs are clear now, at least for the near term. In particular, China Consumer ETF (CHIQ), PowerShares Golden Dragon China Portfolio (PGJ), KraneShares CSI China Internet ETF (KWEB), iShares MSCI China ETF (MCHI) and iShares China Large-Cap ETF (FXI) gained 7.2%, 5.7%, 5.5%, 4.4% and 1.7%, respectively, in the last 30 days. These funds should be on investors’ watch list of funds that are likely to gain further if the current trend continues (see: all Asia-Pacific Emerging ETFs here).
 
CHIQ
 
The fund provides exposure to 40 stocks that operate within the consumer discretionary and consumer staples sectors in China by tracking the Solactive China Consumer Total Return Index. It has AUM of $86.8 million and average daily volume of almost 50,000 shares. The fund charges an annual fee of 65 bps from investors (read: Can the Year of Monkey Bring Fortune to China ETFs?). 
 
PGJ
 
This ETF targets Chinese stocks and follows the NASDAQ Golden Dragon China Index. Holding 63 stocks in its basket, it has been able to manage $167.9 million in AUM so far and charges 70 bps in annual fees. Volume is light at around 33,000 shares a day on average.
 
KWEB
 
This fund provides exposure to 35 China-based companies whose primary business or businesses are in the Internet and Internet-related sectors by tracking the CSI China Overseas Internet Index. It has accumulated $211.3 million in its asset base while it sees volume of 141,000 shares a day on average. KWEB charges 71 bps in fees per year.
 
MCHI
 
This ETF follows the MSCI China Index, which measures the performance of the Chinese companies that are available to international investors. It holds a basket of 155 stocks and has amassed $1.8 billion in its asset base while it trades in a high volume of 1 million shares a day. Expense ratio came in at 0.64%.
 
FXI
 
This ultra-popular fund provides exposure to 51 large-cap China-based companies that trade on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange by tracking the FTSE China 50 Index. It has accumulated $4.8 billion in its asset base while it sees volume of 26 million shares a day on average. The fund charges 74 bps in fees per year (read: 10 Most Heavily Traded ETFs of 2015).

 

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GLBL-X CHIN CON (CHIQ): ETF Research Reports
 
ISHARS-CHINA LC (FXI): ETF Research Reports
 
KRANS-C CHN INT (KWEB): ETF Research Reports
 
ISHARS-MS CH IF (MCHI): ETF Research Reports
 
PWRSH-GL DR HA (PGJ): ETF Research Reports
 
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