The top 10 non-leveraged international exchange traded funds on a year-to-date basis are all China funds and within that group, A-shares ETFs shine bright.
In a testament to the strength of A-shares ETFs, funds offering exposure to Chinese stocks trading in Shanghai and Shenzhen, the Market Vectors ChinaAMC SME-ChiNext ETF (NYSEArca: CNXT) and the Deutsche X-trackers Harvest CSI 500 China A-Shares Small Cap Fund (NYSEArca: ASHS) are up 128% and 117.4%, respectively, this year. Both of those gains are better than double that of the KraneShares Bosera MSCI China A ETF (NYSEArca: KBA), this year’s third-best non-leveraged ETF with a gain of 53%. [China ETF’s Moment in the Limelight]
CNXT and ASHS hold 101 and 516 stocks, respectively, but it is a stock that neither ETF holds that illustrates investors’ enthusiasm for and the risks surrounding China’s epic equity market rally.
In just 55 days since going public, Beijing Baofeng Technology, the maker of online video players, has surged over 4,200%, delivering in less than two months returns it took Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL) 11 years to post, according to Bloomberg.
To some market observers, Shenzhen is China’s equivalent of the Nasdaq, a comparison that when examining CNXT seems appropriate. CNXT 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 SME Board is viewed as China’s NASDAQ, leading to CNXT’s heavy tech exposure. [Meet 2015’s Best ETF]
CNXT allocates 50.6% of its combined weight to technology and consumer discretionary stocks. ASHS is no slouch either when it comes to exposure to those two sectors, devoting 28.5% to those two groups. The iShares China Large-Cap ETF (NYSEArca: FXI) is the largest China-related ETF that tracks Chinese companies listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, has a technology weight of just 10.5%.
As Bloomberg notes, a contributing factor to the run-up in mainland technology and Internet names has been the decision by many of those firms to list in their home country, eschewing the New York listings previously coveted by the likes of Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) and Baidu (NasdaqGS: BIDU), among other Chinese Internet luminaries.