China and India are Asia’s largest and third-largest economies, respectively. As such, the pair often occupy important positions in a host of emerging markets exchange traded funds.
However, only the First Trust ISE Chindia Index Fund (NYSEArca: FNI) is devoted to just Chinese and Indian stocks. It is a combination that has, for the most part, served FNI well this year.
FNI, which debuted seven years ago, tracks the ISE ChIndia Index. That index, and therefore the ETF, is not the typical emerging markets equity index. The top 25 Chinese and Indian stocks based on liquidity requirements and market value are selected with the top three ranked stocks in each country are weighted at 7% each, according to First Trust.
The next three stocks from each country weighted at 4% each followed by the next group three from each nation weighted at 2% apiece. That does not mean China and India are equally represented in the ETF. FNI holds 50 stocks, of which roughly 80% are Chinese stocks.
The bulk of FNI’s India exposure is found at the upper end of the fund with five of the ETF’s top-10 and seven of its top-12 holdings being Indian stocks. That structure restrained FNI’s responsiveness to the rally election-induced rally in India shares. [More to Come for India ETFs]
Although the ETF surged about 20% from early February through early March, FNI was held back by the sluggishness in Chinese stocks and languished for much of the second quarter.
However, Chinese stocks are now taking their turn leading emerging markets ETFs higher, explaining why FNI is up 9.3% over the past 90 days. Nearly 69% of the ETF’s combined weight is allocated to technology and consumer discretionary names, giving FNI ample exposure to high-flying Chinese Internet stocks. Baidu (NasdaqGS: BIDU), Qihoo 360 (NasdaqGS: QIHU) and the legendary Vipshop Holdings (NYSE: VIP) combine for 19.6% of FNI’s weight. [Special Internet Stock Found in These ETFs]