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Asset Growth, Investor Positioning and China Market Turmoil

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Deutsche Bank - Synthetic Equity & Index Strategy - Asia Asia-Pac Monthly ETF Insights - Asset Growth, Investor Positioning and China Market Turmoil

Deutsche Bank – Synthetic Equity & Index Strategy – Asia Asia-Pac Monthly ETF Insights – Asset Growth, Investor Positioning and China Market Turmoil

Data in this report is as of 31st July 2015

Global ETP assets on track to pass $3 trillion mark soon

Global ETP assets stand at $2.94 trillion at the end of July, on track to reach $3 trillion mark. In our “ETF Annual Review & Outlook” published at the beginning of the year, we projected the industry to pass $3 trillion milestone in 2015, reaching $3.2tn at the year end in our base case scenario. It took the industry 19 years to reach the first trillion dollar, but 4 years to hit the second trillion dollar mark, and may take only 2 years to pass the third trillion dollar mark. On a YTD basis, global ETP market is up by $222bn or 8.2%. Asia-Pac listed ETP assets closed the month at just under $240bn with 18.6% YTD gain, highest among all the regions, driven by record monthly inflow to ETFs listed in China.

Global investor positioning: prefer DM, Europe and Japan, shy away from EM

We see clear trend from recent ETF flow that investors favor DM, especially Europe and Japan, while bearish across the board in EM. Based on ETFs listed offshore, global investors put over +$800mn into Japan focused ETFs over the last month. Almost all EM Asia countries saw redemptions: China, Taiwan and India focused ETFs recording -$448mn, -$189mn and -$127mn outflows.

These trends are likely to continue in the near term. The growth momentum is robust in Europe, while EM countries will continue to be under pressure as the Fed may hike rates as soon as in September. In addition, on Aug 11, China depreciated the fixing rate of RMB by 2% against USD, which may cause further outflows to Asian EM countries. India has attracted $3.4 bn inflow in 2015 YTD, while we saw the first monthly outflow in July. It is worthwhile to watch if this is the beginning of a new trend.

Insights on recent China market turmoil viewing from ETF angle

In July, activities related to China focused ETFs elevated amid volatile equity markets. ETFs listed in China (onshore) saw +$7.6bn inflow driven by government purchases. The monthly trading volume registered by onshore China ETFs stood at.$150bn and $125bn for June and July respectively vs. the $90bn YTD monthly average and 2014 average of $25bn in 2014. Volume in US listed leveraged/short China ETFs increased dramatically indicating investors use these tools to profit from the volatile market. Inflows to inversed ETFs reveal investors are bearish about the market. Among offshore China ETFs, we have seen continuous inflows to the H-share ETFs vs outflows to the A-share ETFs. This trend is likely to continue as we see over 20% upside potential this year in H-shares, predicted by our China strategy team.

China ETFs provided liquidity and acted as price discovery tool during the period of large number of stock suspensions (at the peak about 50% of the stocks in China suspended). Another recent example is GREK, an ETF tracking Greece continued to trade in the US during the closure of Greece market.

Product launches – Leveraged/short, China sectors & currency hedged

13 products were launched in Asia-Pacific, and 3 new APAC focused ETFs in the US and 1 APAC focused ETFs in Europe. The main themes of the new product launches include leveraged/short, China/sectors, and currency-hedged ETFs.

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