Hard to Ignore China A-Shares

Most investors that access Chinese equities via exchange traded funds are accustomed to doing so with ETFs heavy on Hong Kong or U.S.-listed shares.

That is changing as China’s A-shares, the stocks traded in Shanghai and Shenzhen, become a large part of the Chinese investment conversation and more ETFs grant access to previously hard-to-reach A-shares.

“More than 2,500 companies are listed on the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges for a combined market capitalization of $4 trillion, the fifth largest globally, with their combined average monthly trading volume at around $632 billion, third globally behind NYSE and Nasdaq,” CNBC reports, citing HSBC.

The bank expects foreign investors’ participation in A-shares could more than triple to 10% in 2020 from just 3%, CNBC reported.

That could be a boon for ETFs such as the db X-trackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares Fund (NYSEArca: ASHR), Market Vectors China ETF (NYSEArca: PEK) and the newly minted KraneShares Bosera MSCI China A ETF (NYSEArca: KBA). The PowerShares China A-Share Portfolio (NYSEArca: CHNA) also offers A-shares, but via derivatives whereas the aforementioned ETFs have obtained Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII), allowing the funds to directly own A-shares. [A-Shares ETFs Allow Increased Access to China]

Index providers are also taking notice of the increased importance and accessibility of China’s A-shares markets. Earlier this month, MSCI (NYSE: MSCI) said earlier this week it is in the consulting stages on the potential inclusion of Chinese A-shares equities in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.