The Deutsche X-trackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares ETF (NYSEArca: ASHR) celebrated its first anniversary this week and did so in style. ASHR, the first U.S.-listed exchange traded fund to offer investors physical access to Chinese A-shares, is now a $467.4 million fund.
A-shares valuations have spent significant time this year residing below those of their Hong Kong counterparts and news of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect program, aimed at increasing securities trading between Hong Kong and mainland China, has served as another attention-getter for ASHR and rival A-shares ETFs. [A-Shares ETFs in Focus Ahead of Stock Connect Launch]
Lost in the all focus on large-cap A-shares ETFs is the potency of those funds’ small-cap counterparts of which there are two: The Deutsche X-trackers Harvest CSI 500 China-A Shares Small Cap ETF (NYSEArca: ASHS) and the Market Vectors ChinaAMC SME-ChiNext ETF (NYSEArca: CNXT).
Both ETFs are new. ASHS debuted in May followed by CNXT in July. The rookie status shares by ASHS and CNXT has not stopped either ETF from delivering impressive returns. Since CNXT came to market, the fund is up nearly 15% while ASHS is higher by 22.5% since its rival debuted.
CNXT, the Market Vectors offering, tracks the SME-ChiNext 100 (SZ399611), which provides exposure to the 100 most liquid mid- and small-cap stocks that trade on the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Board and the ChiNext Board of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE). The ETF actually allocates nearly three-quarters of its weight to mid-caps.
The SME Board is viewed as China’s NASDAQ and the comparison is apt and reflected well by CNXT, an ETF that devotes nearly 42% of its combined weight to the technology and consumer discretionary sectors. [Another A-Shares ETF Comes to Market]
ASHS tracks the CSI 500 Index of Shanghai- and Shenzhen-listed small-caps and the fund is more domestically focused with about 61% of its combined weight going to the industrial, materials and energy sectors.