Analyse: Lyxor ETF MSCI AC Asia-Pacific ex Japan C

Dieser Aktien-ETF streut breit über die Asien-Pazifik-Region, setzt allerdings einen Schwerpunkt auf australische, chinesische und südkoreanische Titel. Finanzaktien dominieren branchenseitig.

Alastair Kellett 17.05.2013
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Rolle im Portfolio

The Lyxor ETF MSCI AC Asia-Pacific ex Japan provides exposure to large- and mid-cap stocks within many of the developing and developed markets of Asia, outside of Japan. Many of the component countries have seen their importance on the global stage rise dramatically in recent years. The Chinese economy now ranks third in the world, behind only Europe and the United States. The MSCI AC Asia Pac ex-Japan Index is focused fairly heavily on the financials sector, which makes up more than a third of the total. Returns from the underlying index have been fairly volatile, exhibiting annualised standard deviation of 17.3% since 2001, versus 15.6% and 16.4%, respectively, for the S&P 500 and the MSCI Europe. But they have been less erratic than the benchmarks tracking the individual countries that make up the biggest parts of the index. And they have shown some diversification benefit with respect to the local currency returns of the S&P 500 and the MSCI Europe Index, showing correlations to each of 81% and 82% respectively, over the same time frame.

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Fundamentale Analyse

Though covering many countries, the MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex-Japan Index will be considerably impacted by the fortunes of China, a large weighting in the Index and the region’s biggest economy. The Chinese economy continues to post strong growth numbers, but against a backdrop of sky-high expectations, opinion remains divided on when the country’s prospects will descend back down to earth and whether the landing will be hard or soft. The most recent example of this was the first quarter’s GDP release, which showed growth for the prior 12 months of 7.7%. That’s high relative to what most of the world is experiencing, but fell short of expectations. One of the major factors contributing to China’s slowdown is that its economy is largely built on exports, and with many parts of the developed world spiralling back into recession, the demand for those exports has begun to dry up. As the beleaguered developed-world consumer continues to pare back, China will have to rely more and more on domestic demand from its own burgeoning middle class. Another area for concern is China’s housing market, which has been rising swiftly and has some cautioning about a bubble. In the first quarter, the total value of new homes sold in China jumped 69% from a year earlier, according to Forbes. In response, the government has enacted plans to dampen the frenzied pace of activity, including higher down payment requirements and higher mortgage rates for purchases of second homes. A correction in the housing market could hurt the financial sector, as real estate is typically used as collateral for bank loans. Australian markets have been doing well thanks to the country’s vast stock of natural resources, which have been on a terrific bull run for many years. The commodities story has been driven by China, and the growing demand for resources from its rapidly expanding middle class, and also by Malthusian concerns of running out of the “stuff in the ground.” The concern right now is that with China slowing down and other parts of the world in recession, the demand for raw materials could fall considerably. The country’s economy grew at an annual rate of 3.1% in the fourth quarter of 2012. The economy of South Korea has grown dramatically in the past few decades. According to The Economist, it now boasts a GDP per head that is higher than the European Union average. Although still classified as an emerging market by MSCI, many now consider South Korea a developed country. Much of the private sector growth has been driven by a system of very large conglomerates. Many of these chaebol —such as Samsung, LG, and Hyundai – have been tremendously successful, but corporate governance concerns have dogged them as a result of their family-run structure. South Korea’s fortunes depend heavily on China, which is the largest market for its exports. Since March 2001, the MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex-Japan Index has posted an annualised return of 8.62%, far outpacing the local currency returns from developed markets during the period. Of the largest country components, Taiwan has been the laggard, returning 3.46% over the same period, versus the strong showings of 13.08% and 10.78%, respectively, from South Korea and China.

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The MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex-Japan Index is a free-float market capitalisation-weighted index currently consisting of 683 constituents across 12 countries: Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Thailand. The index covers approximately 85% of the market capitalisation of these markets. New entrants must pass minimum requirements for liquidity and length of trading history. It is reviewed quarterly, and rebalanced semi-annually with new size cut-offs calculated. As of the end of April the index’s top country weights were Australia at 27.3%, China at 17.3%, South Korea at 13.7%, Taiwan at 10.6%, and Hong Kong at 9.1%. Financials was far and away the largest industry weighting at 38.9% of the total, followed by Information Technology at 13.4%, Materials at 9.3%, Industrials at 7.5%, and Consumer Discretionary at 7.1%. There is limited portfolio concentration, with the top 10 names making up roughly 23.1% of the total. But that masks higher concentration within particular markets. Securities issued under the umbrellas of Samsung, LG, and Hyundai account for more than half the total South Korean exposure. And roughly 10% of the Australian exposure comes from BHP Billiton, the index’s third-highest exposure. The top individual securities in the index at the end of April were Samsung Electronics and Commonwealth Bank, at respective weights of 3.77% and 3.04%.

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The fund uses synthetic replication to provide exposure to the underlying benchmark, entering an unfunded swap transaction with parent bank Societe Generale. The fund uses investors’ cash to buy a substitute basket of securities, the performance of which is exchanged for the performance of the index. Lyxor provides full transparency on the components of the substitute basket, which is made up mainly of European equities. The fund aims to maintain zero counterparty exposure by reviewing the swap on a daily basis and resetting whenever its value becomes positive. At the time of writing the substitute basket was valued at 100.30% of the net asset value of the fund. The fund’s holdings, which are monitored daily by Lyxor’s asset manager, are held in a segregated account at Lyxor’s custodian, Societe Generale Security Services. Under the terms of the swap, the counterparty agrees to provide the fund with exposure to the total return of the underlying index, net of any associated taxes, costs, or fees. The fund is domiciled in France and has the Euro as its base currency. The fund does not engage in securities lending activity. At present the fund has assets of €546 million.

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The fund’s total expense ratio (TER) is 0.60%, which is pricier than some of the alternatives offering exposure to Asia ex-Japan equities. Other costs potentially borne by the unitholder but not included in the TER include swap fees, and bid-ask spreads and brokerage fees when buy and sell orders are placed for ETF shares.

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To get exposure to equities in the Asia ex-Japan region, there are a few choices, albeit referencing different underlying indices. Possible alternatives include Amundi ETF MSCI Pacific ex-Japan, iShares MSCI AC Far East ex Japan, db x-trackers MSCI AC Asia ex-Japan, UBS-ETF MSCI Pacific (ex-Japan), and HSBC MSCI Pacific ex-Japan. Of these, the iShares fund is the largest, with assets of $2.5 billion. The fund with the lowest TER is the HSBC product, at 0.40%.

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Über den Autor

Alastair Kellett  Al Kellett is an ETF analyst with Morningstar Europe.