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Mar 6, 2019

China wins record ETF inflows as emerging markets overhaul looms

China-Focused ETF Funds See Record Inflows

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A duo of China-focused exchange-traded funds lured record inflows ahead of changes to a widely followed emerging-markets index.

Investors poured more than US$143 million into the Xtrackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares ETF, ticker ASHR, on Monday, the most ever in a single day, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The Xtrackers MSCI All China Equity ETF, ticker CN, also saw a record cash infusion of US$118 million, the data show.

The interest comes after MSCI Inc. announced last week that it would increase the weighting of China’s onshore shares in its widely tracked measure of developing markets. Funds that track the benchmark are set to add more than US$46 billion to the nation’s stock market between May and November when the changes take place, according to Bloomberg estimates. Positive news on trade and economic stimulus are also boosting Chinese stocks.

“The outlook for China has been steadily improving for the past two months, and this MSCI announcement is another tailwind,” Tom Essaye, a former Merrill Lynch trader who founded ‘The Sevens Report’ newsletter, wrote to clients. “Clearly this isn’t a risk-free trade and a lot can still go wrong,” he wrote, “but the number of positive influences on Chinese stocks is rising, and the MSCI positive is an important one not to miss.”

The Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index has gained every day since the MSCI announcement, bringing gains for the year to about 30 percent.