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Analyse: db x-trackers MSCI EM Asia TRN Index UCITS ETF

Dieser Aktien-ETF streut breit über die asiatischen Märkte, setzt allerdings Schwerpunkte auf chinesische und südkoreanische Titel. Finanz- und Technologieaktien dominieren branchenseitig.

Alastair Kellett 17.05.2013

Rolle im Portfolio

The db x-trackers MSCI EM Asia TRN Index UCITS ETF 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 now ranks third in the world, behind only Europe and the United States. Returns from the underlying index have been quite volatile, exhibiting annualised standard deviation of 20.7% 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. During the same period, it has shown a correlation to the local currency returns of the S&P 500 and the MSCI Europe Index of 75% and 77%, respectively. The fund does not make regular distributions, so it may not suit an investor looking for income.

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Fundamentale Analyse

Though covering many countries, the MSCI EM Asia Index will be considerably impacted by the fortunes of China, the top country weighting in the Index and the biggest economy in the region. 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 major pillar of the economy is investment, and as we saw in 2008 the government has shown the willingness and ability to inject the economy with massive amounts of stimulus to buoy the economy. 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. 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 have been tremendously successful – witness the rise of such familiar names as Samsung, LG, and Hyundai – 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. South Korea has also found itself drawn into the maritime disputes with Japan and China, threatening trade in the region. Like South Korea, Taiwan is dependent on China as a trading partner. Its export-driven economy has expanded considerably in the last few decades. Recent growth, however, has not been as robust as some of its neighbours. Its GDP grew by just 1.5% in the twelve months through the end of the first quarter. Since March 2001 the MSCI EM Asia Index has posted an annualised return of 10.27%, vastly outpacing the local currency returns from developed markets during the period. Of the top country components, Taiwan has been the laggard, returning 3.46% over the same period, versus an average of more than 12% for China, South Korea, India, and Malaysia.

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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. As of the end of April, the index’s top country weights were China at 29.7%, South Korea at 23.6%, Taiwan at 18.3%, India at 11.1%, and Malaysia at 5.9%. Sector exposures were broadly diversified, with Financials and Information Technology the most significant, at 27.9% and 22.7% respectively, followed by Consumer Discretionary, Energy, Materials, and Industrials, at respective weights of 8.5%, 8.2%, 7.5%, and 7.2%. There is limited portfolio concentration, with the top 10 securities making up just 24.5% 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 employs synthetic replication to provide exposure to the underlying benchmark, entering a funded swap with parent company Deutsche Bank. Investors’ cash is transferred to Deutsche Bank, which then puts 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 U.K., U.S., and Japanese equities from a variety of industries, as well as about 9% corporate and government bonds. Its total value was equivalent to 120.27% of the fund’s net asset value. The fund’s prospectus states that, in compliance with UCITS III rules, it 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 will be 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 Total Return Net 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 $1.3 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 ETFs providing similar exposure to this one, including Amundi ETF MSCI EM Asia, SPDR MSCI EM Asia ETF, and CS ETF(IE) on MSCI EM Asia. Of these, the db x-trackers fund is by far the largest. The fund with the lowest TER is the Amundi product, at 0.45%.

Über den Autor

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