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A-Shares ETFs in Focus After MSCI Rebuffs EM Promotion


Exchange traded funds that hold Chinese A-shares rallied a bit Tuesday in anticipation of index provider MSCI (MSCI) possibly announcing the stocks traded in Shanghai and Shenzhen were ready to advance to its emerging markets index.

Wednesday could bring a different story for ETFs such as the db X-trackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares Fund (ASHR) and the KraneShares Bosera MSCI China A ETF (KBA) after MSCI decided against elevating Chinese A-shares to the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. The index provider will keep A-shares on the review list for a possible promotion to the emerging markets index in 2015.

“This decision is based on feedback highlighting remaining investability constraints linked to the QFII and RQFII quota systems received from international institutional investors in a consultation launched in March 2014 on a potential roadmap for inclusion of China A-shares in the MSCI China and MSCI Emerging Markets Indexes,” said MSCI in a statement.

On Tuesday, ASHR, the largest A-shares ETF trading in the U.S. and the first to offer direct access to A-shares equities, rose 1% on volume that was nearly double the daily average. KBA added 1.6% while the Market Vectors ChinaAMC A-Share ETF (PEK) gained 1.2%. [A-Shares ETFs Rally Before MSCI News]

Over $1.3 trillion in global assets are benchmarked to the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, the underlying index for the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) . EEM is the second-largest emerging markets ETF.

“Because of the significant size of the China A-shares market, the possibility of further regulatory reforms and other changes expected in the near term, such as implementation of the Shanghai/Hong Kong Stock Connect program, MSCI believes that it is important to continue to engage with the international investment community on the potential inclusion of the China A-shares in Emerging Markets as part of the 2015 Annual Market Classification Review,” added MSCI.

Earlier this month, MSCI rival FTSE Group introduced a series of indices that will allow market participants to include China A-shares in global indices at a time of their choosing.

Other A-shares ETFs trading in the U.S. include the new db X-trackers Harvest CSI 500 China-A Shares Small Cap Fund (ASHS) and the PowerShares China A-Share Portfolio (CHNA) . CHNA uses derivatives to gain A-shares exposure.

MSCI also declined to promote South Korea and Taiwan to developed markets status and has remove the countries from consideration for such advancement. Egypt will also retain its emerging markets designation, dodging a demotion to frontier markets territory. [South Korea, Taiwan Stay as Emerging Markets]

db X-trackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares Fund


ETF Trends editorial team contributed to this post. Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of EEM.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.