With the Shanghai Composite down nearly 24% over the past month, dragging plenty of U.S.-listed A-shares exchange traded funds into bear market territory along with it, plenty of investors are piling onto the bearish thesis against mainland Chinese stocks.
It is easy to see why. Entering Monday, five of the six worst-performing ETFs over the past month were A-shares funds. Prior to China’s mainland equity market meltdown, five of the six best ETFs in the U.S. on a year-to-date basis were A-shares funds. On Monday, four of the five worst ETFs in terms of percentage losses were A-shares funds, a quartet including the Direxion 2x Daily CSI 300 China A Share ETF (NYSEArca: CHAU), the first leveraged A-shares ETF to list in the U.S. [First Leveraged A-Shares ETF Debuts]
CHAU, which launched in May, attempts to deliver twice the daily performance of the CSI 300 Index, the underlying benchmark for the Deutsche X-trackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares ETF (NYSEArca: ASHR), the largest U.S-listed A-shares ETF. CHAU closed lower by nearly 14% yesterday on volume that was more than nine times the daily average. Obviously, those sound like ominous statistics, but as the herd continues to make bearish China bets, CHAU could be a worthy near-term contrarian play. Signs of encouragement are hard to come by for A-shares ETFs, but CHAU and its brethren, though pummeled on Monday, closed well off their lows of the day.
There is more to CHAU’s story that indicates significant upside could be ahead. To quantify that upside, it would not be unreasonable to expect CHAU to run 15% to 16% to the upside, maybe more, when A-shares rebound. Here’s why: ASHR was spotted Monday trading at a significant discount to its net asset value. Add to that, CHAU could be gain a “rebate” as counterparties continue to loan shares of ASHR out to short sellers. [Upping the Ante With China ETFs]
Not surprisingly, CHAU’s inverse cousin, the Direxion Daily CSI 300 China A Share Bear 1x Shares (NYSEArca: CHAD), has been the toast of the A-shares ETF community in recent weeks. All CHAD has done in less than a month of trading is surge 35%, with no leverage, on its way to gaining $174 million in assets. [Traders Rush to Inverse, Leveraged A-Shares ETFs]