With the emergence of China A-shares exchange traded funds and the impressive out-performance delivered by those funds, traditional China ETFs, including the iShares China Large-Cap ETF (NYSEArca: FXI), have taken on the look of overshadowed, laggards.
A closer look reveals FXI is telling a different and that the largest U.S.-listed China ETF could be poised to regain its perch atop the single-country emerging markets ETF space. Up 3.2% Monday, FXI is trading at its highest levels in nearly four years, extending a run that has seen the ETF surge almost 6% in just the past month.
With Hang Seng-listed issues, including the names that dot FXI’s 51-stock roster, looking comparatively inexpensive relative to their A-shares counterparts, FXI could have more room to run higher.
The Hang Seng China AH Premium Index (HSAHP), which gauges the premium of A-shares to Hong Kong-listed stocks and vice-versa, now resides close to 135, indicating a roughly 50% jump over the past eight months. [A-Shares ETFs Crimp Bears]
The Shanghai index trades at 14.4x 12-month projected earnings, compared with 8.4x for the H-shares measure, according to Rareview Macro founder Neil Azous.
Spurred by policy easing, Hong Kong-listed stocks are expected to move higher into the end of the year as the People’s Bank of China could be supportive of Chinese equities and the relevant U.S.-listed. The PBOC is already one of more than 20 global central banks to lower interest rates this year. Last month, the PBOC extended its stimulus measures, reducing financing costs for businesses and potentially reigniting growth in the economy. [China ETFs get a PBOC Boost]