Global investors are jumping into China country-specific exchange traded funds despite misgivings from Beijing’s heavyhanded approach to its domestic markets.
President Xi Jinping’s “common prosperity” policies have erased over $1 trillion from the Chinese stock market value since February after a series of regulatory actions targeting sectors from video games and technology to property and education, the Financial Times reports.
Nevertheless, the ChinaAMC MSCI China A 50 Connect, E Fund MSCI China A 50 Connect ETF and the China Universal MSCI China A 50 Connect ETF were among the top 15 most popular ETFs globally based on net inflows over November, attracting a combined $4.6 billion, according to ETFGI data.
Among U.S.-listed ETFs, the KraneShares CSI China Internet ETF (KWEB), which targets some of the hardest-hit Chinese internet names that took the brunt of the regulatory scrutiny, brought in $7.8 billion in net inflows since mid-February, or twice that of any other U.S.-listed thematic ETF, according to Goldman Sachs data.
These beaten-down Chinese stocks are now cheaply priced and attracting some bargain hunters looking for a deal amid a run-up in U.S. equities that have pushed markets to record highs.
“We are modestly positive on Chinese equities. We think the equity risk premium compensates investors for the risk. In other words, they are cheap,” Karim Chedid, head of investment strategy for iShares in the Emea region, told the Financial Times.
“Chinese equities are still under-represented in the global indices and the direction is going to continue to be upward. Now might be a good time to allocate on a long-term view,” Chedid added.
Jose Garcia-Zarate, associate director, passive strategies research at Morningstar, also argued that the outlook looked more attractive for investors.
“The growth picture in China is rebounding much more quickly than other economies. That helps explain interest in the equity side,” Garcia-Zarate told the Financial Times.
Matthew Bartolini, head of SPDR Americas research at State Street Global Advisors, also mirrored the positive sentiment, saying, “growth, while slowing, is still somewhat stronger than in developed nations.”
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