A decision by Chinese regulators to expand its renminbi qualified foreign institutional investor (RQFII) that allows foreign investors access to stocks traded on China’s mainland ignited a rally in exchange traded funds holding A-shares equities last Friday and could be a sign of further gains to come.
“China accelerated RQFII quotas as the quarter progressed, adding $2.5 billion in September, according to State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) data released on Friday. The total outstanding quota is now $62.2 billion. Regulators gave the largest award of the month to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, adding $1 billion to take its quota to $2.5 billion,” Reuters reported.
The news ignited an arguably overlooked surge in the Deutsche X-trackers Harvest CSI 500 China-A Shares Small Cap Fund (NYSEArca: ASHS). ASHS, the first U.S.-listed ETF to offer physical access to small-cap A-shares, surged 5.6% on volume that was two and a half times the daily average last Friday, extending a run that has seen the ETF soar almost 36% over the past 90 days.
Earlier this month, Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management said robust demand for ASHS and its popular large-cap counterpart, the Deutsche X-trackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares Fund (NYSEArca: ASHR), forced the issuer to limit creations of new shares in the ETFs. Heavy demand, for ASHR in particular, is forcing the two ETFs to bump up against their respective RQFII quotas. [Strong Demand Forces Limited Creations in A-Shares ETFs]
Deutsche and Harvest Global Investments, China’s second-largest asset manager and the sub-advisor on ASHR and ASHS, are working with Chinese regulators to have the funds’ RQFII quotas expanded. ASHR rose nearly 0.6% last Friday on volume that was almost 50% above the daily average. ASHR, which is less than 11 months old, already has $524.5 million in assets under management.