Van Eck Global has launched Market Vectors China ETF (NYSE Arca: PEK), the first U.S.-listed exchange traded fund (ETF) designed to give investors exposure to China’s large and fast-growing A-Shares market, which represents all stocks traded on China’s two main exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen. PEK seeks to track the performance of the CSI 300 Index, an Index which captured approximately 64 percent of the total market cap of these two exchanges, as of September 30, 2010.
As China’s local A-Share market has historically been restricted to the country’s domestic investors and Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors, many Emerging Market and BRIC funds are not able to include the A-Share market in their country weighting schemes, leading to a fundamental underweighting of China’s true equity market in these funds. For this reason, Van Eck believes that gross domestic product (GDP) – which reflects the size of a country’s economy rather than the size of its available equity market – may be an important factor to consider when investing in international markets. Since 1996, China’s GDP has ranked first among all emerging markets and since June 2010, it has surpassed Japan as the second largest economy in the world (after the U.S.). This illustrates China’s growing dominance within the global economy, a position that many market capitalization weighted products do not capture.
“Because of its size and growth, we believe effective diversification requires investors to have broad exposure to China and this, in turn, requires exposure to A-Shares traded on the Shanghai and Shenzhen Exchanges. Without A-Shares, investors are missing significant exposure to a world economic powerhouse,” said Jan van Eck, Principal at Van Eck Global. “After all, China’s equity market in total currently accounts for 33 percent of the emerging market universe. With PEK, we are pleased to offer investors a way to access the A-Share marketplace—a marketplace that accounts for nearly a quarter of all emerging markets equities and 72 percent of China’s equities.”
Currently, most other U.S. funds offering China exposure invest in shares listed on exchanges in Hong Kong (H-Shares) or elsewhere. H-Shares account for just 4% of all emerging market equities and only 13% of China’s total equity market. The lack of access to the A-Share market prevents investors from gaining broad representation of China’s true domestic market. As a result, these funds offer exposure to only a limited selection of companies and sectors of the Chinese economy.
ETFs tracking China A-Shares are already available in Asian markets. As of October 7, 2010, there were 24 China A-Share-based ETFs listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Eight of these track the broad China market while the remaining 16 track specific industry sectors. In addition, the Singapore and Taiwan Stock Exchanges together list three broad market China A-Share ETFs. The Tokyo Stock Exchange has two broad-based China A-Share ETFs. All 29 ETFs use derivative instruments to replicate the performance of their underlying benchmarks.
PEK seeks to replicate as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield performance of the CSI 300 Index (CSIR0300), a leading index compiled and managed by China Securities Index Co. Ltd. The Index, which comprises the most actively traded blue-chip shares on the country’s two exchanges, was recently selected as the underlying benchmark for China’s first index futures contracts. The four contracts based on the CSI 300 were introduced on Friday, April 16, after a decade of planning, on the Shanghai-based China Financial Futures Exchange (CFFE). The trading of index futures followed the March 31, 2010 introduction of margin trading and short selling and was another step to further develop and deepen investment options in China.
Consisting of 300 A-Share stocks listed on the Shenzhen and/or Shanghai Stock Exchanges, the CSI 300 is a free-float market capitalization weighted index. As of September 30, 2010, the Index comprised 38 percent small- and mid-cap stocks and 62 percent large-cap stocks. The index is broadly diversified by sector and covered all 10 Global Industry Classification (GIC) sectors with top weightings in Financials (34%), Industrials (17%) and Materials (15%), as of September 30, 2010.
The Fund will not invest directly in A-Shares immediately; instead it expects to invest in swaps and other types of derivative instruments that have economic characteristics that are substantially identical to the economic characteristics of China A-Share stocks. The Fund carries a net expense ratio of 0.72 percent and a gross expense ratio of 0.85 percent.
About Van Eck Global
Founded in 1955, Van Eck Associates Corporation was among the first U.S. money managers helping investors achieve greater diversification through global investing. Today the firm continues this 50+ year tradition by offering global investment choices in hard assets, emerging markets, precious metals including gold, and other specialized asset classes.
Market Vectors exchange-traded products have been offered by Van Eck Global since 2006 when the firm launched the nation’s first gold mining ETF. Today, Market Vectors ETFs and ETNs span several asset classes, including equities, municipal bonds and currency markets.
Van Eck Global also offers mutual funds, insurance trust funds, separate accounts and alternative investments. Designed for investors seeking innovative choices for portfolio diversification, Van Eck Global’s investment products are often categorized in asset classes having returns with low correlations to those of more traditional U.S. equity and fixed income investments.
About the Qualified Financial Institutional Investor (QFII) License
The Adviser has submitted an application for a QFII license in order to allow the Fund to invest directly in A-shares. There is no assurance that the Adviser will be able to obtain a QFII license and, if so, when such license would be granted. Furthermore, there are significant legal and operational obstacles that will need to be resolved before the Fund can invest directly in the A-share market, including repatriation restrictions and A-share Quota limitations. Until the Adviser obtains a QFII license, and the significant legal and operational obstacles are resolved, the Fund will not invest directly in A-shares.
Therefore, unless and until the Fund is able to invest directly in A-shares, the Fund intends to invest in swaps and other types of derivative instruments that have economic characteristics that are substantially identical to the economic characteristics of A-shares including swaps on the CSI Index and/or the A-shares which comprise the CSI Index. The Fund may also invest in swaps on funds that seek to replicate the performance of the CSI Index or directly in securities of such funds. Assets not invested in swaps and other derivatives will be invested primarily in money market instruments.
CSI 300 Index and its logo are service marks of China Securities Index Co., Ltd. (“CSI”) and have been licensed for use by Van Eck Associates Corporation. The Market Vectors China ETF is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by CSI and CSI makes no representation regarding the advisability of investing in the Market Vectors China ETF.
Chinese investments are subject to elevated risks, which include, among others, political and economic instability, inflation, confiscatory taxation, nationalization and expropriation, Chinese securities market volatility, less reliable financial information, differences in accounting, auditing and financial standards and requirements from those applicable to U.S. issuers, uncertainty of implementation of existing Chinese law. In addition, the Fund is also subject to liquidity and valuation risks, foreign securities risk and other risks associated with foreign investments. The Fund will invest in swaps on the CSI Index or on securities comprising the CSI Index. The Fund may also invest in swaps and derivatives on other funds that track the CSI Index or invest directly in the shares of such funds. The use of swap and derivatives entails certain risks, which may be different from, and possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in the underlying asset for the swap agreement. These risks include limited availability of swaps, counterparty risk, liquidity risk, risks of A-shares and the QFII system, tax risk, currency risk, risk of investing in other funds, market risk, and index tracking risk. Investors should be willing to accept a high degree of volatility and the potential of significant loss. Please refer to the prospectus for more complete information on the risks of investing in the Fund.
Fund shares are not individually redeemable and will be issued and redeemed at their NAV only through certain authorized broker-dealers in large, specified blocks of shares called “creation units” and otherwise can be bought and sold only through exchange trading. Creation units are issued and redeemed principally in kind. Shares may trade at a premium or discount to their NAV in the secondary market.
Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. An investor should consider investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the investment company carefully before investing. To obtain a prospectus, which contains this and other information, call 1.888.MKT.VCTR or visit our Web site. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing.
Van Eck Securities Corporation, Distributor, 335 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10017