Analyse/db x-trackers MSCI EM Asia

Ungeachtet der Streuung über 540 Aktien und acht asiatische Länder ist dieser ETF in erster Linie eine Wette auf das Wachstum Chinas. Auf der Ebene der Einzeltitel ist dieser Emerging-Markets ETF indes breit gestreut.

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Rolle im Portfolio

The db x-trackers MSCI EM Asia Index UCITS provides exposure to many of the largest and most liquid stocks within the emerging markets of Asia, particularly China, South Korea, Taiwan, India, and Malaysia. These countries have seen their importance on the global stage rise dramatically in recent years. The Chinese economy, for instance, now ranks third in the world, behind only Europe and the United States.

The MSCI EM Asia Index focuses heavily on the information technology and financial sectors, which together account for over half of its total weighting. Returns from the underlying index have had annualised volatility of 23.5% since 1999, higher than those for the S&P 500 (15.5%) and MSCI Europe (19.3%). The index has shown some diversification benefit with respect to the S&P 500 and the MSCI Europe, with correlations to each of 72%, over the same time frame.

The fund does not make regular distributions, so it may not suit an investor looking for income.

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Fundamentale Analyse

Although the MSCI EM Asia Index covers many countries, China wields the greatest influence, accounting for almost one third of the index’s weighting. It no longer posts the double-digit numbers of the last decade, but its GDP growth is still noteworthy, reaching 7.7% in both 2012 and 2013.

China has done well as the manufacturer of the world, but in turn its growth relies on consistent demand from developed markets. As the financial crisis showed, demand from the West greatly impacts China’s economy, and reduced aggregate demand has taken a long-term toll on the manufacturing industry. China’s Purchasing Manager Index (PMI), which indicates the strength of the manufacturing sector, fell from 55 in the mid-2000s to nearly 40 in 2008. After a brief rebound in 2009, it has remained around 50 since mid-2013, which is considered subpar.

The government has recognised the need for a more balanced economy, adopting reforms intended to increase domestic consumption and reduce dependence on fixed investments and exports. Already, household consumption accounted for 37% of GDP in 2013. The transition, however, will be gradual, not least because of the slow speed of reforms.

At the 2013 Plenum, the Chinese Communist Party’s economic planning meeting held every five years, President Xi Jinping already hinted at plans to allow for greater market-driven growth. The People’s Bank of China also announced banks could set prime lending rates, and the government launched the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone which will offer full currency convertibility of the renminbi. Both moves highlight the gradual liberalisation of China’s monetary and economic policy, but all the while China’s leadership has asserted it remains in control of the reforms and continues to keep tight control over the renminbi.

An area of concern, however, is China’s housing market, which has rapidly ballooned and suggests a possible bubble. A correction in the housing market could hurt the financial sector, as real estate is typically used as collateral for bank loans.

Across the East China Sea, South Korea’s economy has also grown dramatically in the past few decades. Although still classified as an emerging market by MSCI, many consider South Korea a developed country. Much of the private sector growth has been driven by large conglomerates--such as Samsung, LG and Hyundai--but corporate governance concerns have dogged them as a result of their family-run structure. South Korea’s growth depends heavily on China, its largest market for exports.

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The MSCI Emerging Markets Asia Index is a free float market capitalisation-weighted portfolio currently consisting of 538 stocks across eight countries: China, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Thailand. The index covers approximately 85% of the market capitalisation of these markets. It is reviewed quarterly, and rebalanced semi-annually with new size cut-offs calculated. The index’s top country weights are China (28-30%), South Korea (24-26%), Taiwan (17-19%), India (9-11%) and Malaysia (5-7%). Sector exposures are broadly diversified, with information technology (25-27%) and financials (24-26%) the most significant, followed by consumer discretionary (8-10%), and energy, materials and industrials (6-8% each). There is limited portfolio concentration, with the top 10 securities making up about 25% of the total. But particularly within the South Korean sleeve, there is significant concentration within a handful of large conglomerates. Securities issued under the umbrellas of Samsung, LG and Hyundai account for more than half the total South Korean exposure.

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The fund uses synthetic replication to provide exposure to the underlying benchmark, entering a funded swap with parent company Deutsche Bank. Under this structure, investors’ cash is transferred to Deutsche Bank, which, in return, commits to deliver the performance of the reference index. To mitigate counterparty risk, Deutsche Bank is requested to post collateral in a segregated account opened in the name of Deutsche Bank and pledged to the fund. The collateral is marked to market daily and its composition can change every day. At the time of writing, the collateral consists mostly of US, French and UK equities from a variety of industries, as well as about 2% government bonds. Its total value was equivalent to 120.47% of the fund’s net asset value. In compliance with UCITS III rules, the fund cannot have net counterparty exposure exceeding 10% of the fund’s NAV, implying that the collateral must at a minimum be valued at 90% of the fund’s net assets. Collateral is held and managed by Bank of New York Mellon (Luxembourg). In the case of an enforcement event—which could be any of a number of a wide range of actual and/or potential default or termination events on the part of Deutsche Bank—the fund will be entitled by Luxembourg law at that time to enforce the pledge and sell the collateral assets without giving prior notice to Deutsche Bank. Under the terms of the swap, the counterparty agrees to provide the fund with exposure to the total return of the MSCI Emerging Markets Asia Index, net of any costs or fees associated with providing the exposure. The return from the swap assumes that all dividends paid by the underlying stocks are reinvested in the index. This fund does not pay out any dividend distributions. At the time of writing, the fund had assets of roughly $630 billion.

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The fund’s total expense ratio (TER) is 0.65%. 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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There are several providers that offer ETFs tracking the same index, including Amundi, SPDR and iShares. The fund with the lowest TER is the Amundi product, at 0.45%.

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Über den Autor

Morningstar ETF Analysts  research hundreds of ETFs available to European investors. The Morningstar Rating for ETFs is based on a risk-adjusted performance measure.