Investors are pouring into emerging markets exchange traded funds (ETFs) this year, both the diversified and single-country varieties, with one notable exception: China. Due to ongoing speculation regarding the country’s monetary policy, interest rates both there and in the U.S. and an overall cautionary view of the world’s second-largest economy, investors are scampering out of some well-known China ETFs.
For example, the iShares China Large-Cap ETF (NYSEArca: FXI), the largest China-related ETF that tracks Chinese companies listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, is lighter by $1.2 billion in assets this year. However, investors’ distaste for Hong Kong stocks is not limited to FXI. Predictably, it is carrying over to the iShares MSCI Hong Kong ETF (NYSEArca: EWH).
“Traders have pulled a net $142 million from the iShares MSCI Hong Kong ETF in May, poised for an 11th straight month of net outflows and the longest string of declines on record. While the underlying stock index has fallen 2.6 percent this month, investors were net sellers even in March, when the gauge staged its biggest rally in four years,” reports Kana Nishizawa for Bloomberg.
Investors are pulling capital from EWH even as the Hong Kong ETF has soared off its February lows. Year-to-date, EWH is down nearly 1.7% while having bled over $667 million in assets.[related_stories]
Departures from EWH, FXI and other China-related ETFs come as investors have been flocking to funds such as the Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: VWO) and the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: EEM), the two largest emerging markets ETFs by assets.