Stocks in Shanghai plunged during Thursday’s Asian session, U.S.-listed China exchange traded funds followed suit after Chinese brokerage firms increased margin requirements. Nearly a quarter of the 1,000 stocks on the Shanghai Composite fell by exchange limit of 10% yesterday.
That triggered a sizable sell-off in China ETFs trading in the U.S. Thursday’s nine worst ETFs in terms of percentage losses and 15 of the 16 worst were China funds. In other words, this might not be the time investors want to be hearing bullish tidings on China ETFs.
Then again, Thursday’s carnage could prove to be a buying opportunity and it is worth noting the KraneShares CSI China Internet Fund (NasdaqGM: KWEB) lost just 1.2% yesterday. By comparison to its China ETF brethren, KWEB looked great on Thursday. [China Internet ETF Staves Off Alibaba Slump]
Even with Thursday’s drop, which occurred on below average volume, KWEB has surged nearly 28% this year. KWEB, a fund with a cult-like following among China ETFs, has the potential to deliver more upside this year.
“China’s internet and ecommerce sector has picked up momentum in recent weeks. The uptick in performance by China internet companies began on March 13th and has continued through today, adding 34.42%1 over this time period. We believe the recent strong performance in China’s internet sector is supported by the wealth effect from favorable returns in the onshore bull market,” according to a KraneShares note.
A gain of 28% is great, but almost average in comparison to some other China ETFs. However, KWEB’s 2015 bullishness is made all the more impressive when considering Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) and Baidu (NasdaqGS: BIDU), a combined 13.7% of the ETF’s weight, have each lost more than 12%.
Stocks such as JD.com (NasdaqGS: JD), Vipshop Holdings (NYSE: VIPS), Ctrip.com (NasdaqGS: CTRP) and Youku.com (NasdaqGS: YOKU) are doing the heavy lifting for KWEB. All are top 10 holdings in the ETF and the worst performer of the quartet is Vipshop, which is up 30% this year. [An ETF for a VIP of Internet Stocks]