How to invest in China using ETFs

How do I invest in Chinese stocks?

The easiest way to invest in the whole Chinese stock market is to invest in a broad market index. This can be done at low cost by using ETFs.

On the Chinese stock market you find 11 indices, which are tracked by ETFs. The speciality of China are the three categories of Chinese stocks: A-stocks, B-stocks and H-stocks.

Besides Hong Kong listed stocks, indices on the BRIC countries or Asia can be invested alternatively. In BRIC indices China is strongly weighted with over 70%. The Asian indices weight China with 50% or less.

0.30% p.a. - 0.88% p.a.
annual total expense ratio (TER) of China ETFs
on the Chinese stock market, which are tracked by ETFs
on the Chinese stock market
The best indices for China ETFs

Performance of Chinese stocks (Hang Seng China Enterprises (HSCEI))

1 month: -2.05%
1 year: 6.42%
3 years: 8.61%
5 years: 40.70%

Indices in comparison

The best indices for ETFs on China

For an investment in the Chinese stock market, 11 indices tracked by 16 ETFs are available. The speciality of investing in China are the different categories of Chinese stocks. The total expense ratio (TER) of ETFs on these indices is between 0.30% p.a. and 0.88% p.a..

Index Investment focus Number of ETFs Number of constituents Short description

CSI 300

China 2 ETFs 300
The CSI 300 index tracks 300 stocks with the largest market capitalisation and liquidity from the entire universe of listed A share companies in the People’s Republic of China.
Index factsheet

FTSE China 50

China 2 ETFs 50
The FTSE China 50 index tracks the 50 largest and most liquid Chinese companies listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (H-Shares, Red Chips und P Chips).
Index factsheet

FTSE China A-H 50

China 1 ETF 50
The FTSE China A-H 50 index tracks the 50 largest Chinese A-Shares listed on the Shanghai or Shenzen stock exchanges. Each company will be represented either by its A-share or by its H-share.
Index factsheet

FTSE China A50

China 1 ETF 50
The FTSE China A50 index tracks the 50 largest Chinese A-Shares listed on the Shanghai or Shenzen stock exchanges in local currency.
Index factsheet

Hang Seng China Enterprises (HSCEI)

China 1 ETF 50
(30/09/19)
The Hang Seng China Enterprise index (HSCEI) tracks the most important Chinese H-Shares, listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Index factsheet

MSCI China

China 3 ETFs 501
(30/09/19)
The MSCI China index tracks the largest and most liquid Chinese stocks, listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange (H-Shares, B-Shares, Red Chips, P Chips).
Index factsheet

MSCI China A

China 2 ETFs 443
(30/09/19)
The MSCI China A index tracks the largest and most liquid Chinese A-Shares, denominated in Renminbi ("RMB") and listed on the Shenzhen and/or Shanghai stock exchanges. This index reflects Mainland China A-share securities from a domestic investor’s perspective.
Index factsheet

MSCI China A Inclusion

China 1 ETF 268
(30/09/19)
The MSCI China A Inclusion index tracks China A-Shares also included in the MSCI Emerging Markets.

MSCI China A International

China 1 ETF 466
(30/09/19)
The MSCI China A International index tracks the largest and most liquid Chinese A-Shares, denominated in Renminbi ("RMB") and listed on the Shenzhen and/or Shanghai stock exchanges. This index reflects Mainland China A-share securities from an international QFII/RQFII investor’s perspective
Index factsheet

MSCI China H

China 1 ETF 93
(30/09/19)
The MSCI China H index tracks the largest and most liquid Chinese H-Shares, listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Index factsheet

S&P China 500

China 1 ETF 500
The S&P China 500 index tracks the 500 largest and most liquid Chinese companies (all share classes including A-shares and offshore listings).
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m GBP
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
Xtrackers MSCI China Index UCITS ETF 1CLU0514695690 711 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
iShares China Large Cap UCITS ETFIE00B02KXK85 458 0.74% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
iShares MSCI China A UCITS ETFIE00BQT3WG13 450 0.40% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Xtrackers Harvest CSI 300 INDEX UCITS ETF 1DLU0875160326 446 0.65% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
Lyxor China Enterprise (HSCEI) UCITS ETF AccLU1900068914 344 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Xtrackers CSI 300 Swap UCITS ETF 1CLU0779800910 341 0.50% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
HSBC MSCI China UCITS ETF USDIE00B44T3H88 280 0.60% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
HSBC MSCI China A Inclusion UCITS ETFIE00BF4NQ904 117 0.30% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Xtrackers FTSE China 50 UCITS ETF 1CLU0292109856 97 0.60% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
Lyxor Hwabao WP MSCI China A (DR) UCITS ETF AccFR0011720911 51 0.35% p.a. Accumulating France Optimized sampling
WisdomTree S&P China 500 UCITS ETF USDLU1440654330 48 0.75% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Optimized sampling
Lyxor MSCI China UCITS ETF AccLU1841731745 39 0.30% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
L&G E Fund MSCI China A UCITS ETFIE00BHBFDF83 19 0.88% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
CSOP Source FTSE China A50 UCITS ETFIE00BGSHB123 16 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
Amundi ETF MSCI China UCITS ETF USDLU1681044050 8 0.55% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Xtrackers Harvest FTSE China A-H 50 INDEX UCITS ETF 1DLU1310477036 7 0.65% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
MSCI China H 0.73% -3.94% -2.76% -1.44% 17.27%
Hang Seng China Enterprises (HSCEI) 0.18% -2.72% -1.94% 0.42% 19.42%
FTSE China 50 1.38% -3.12% -2.24% 1.12% 21.82%
MSCI China -0.96% -1.97% -2.96% 1.28% 29.38%
S&P China 500 -0.61% -1.01% -0.87% 7.39% 26.27%
CSI 300 -0.12% 0.12% 0.52% 15.16% 19.95%
MSCI China A Inclusion -0.53% 0.32% 0.72% 15.46% -
MSCI China A International -0.31% 0.00% 0.62% 15.66% 19.05%
MSCI China A -0.50% 0.08% 0.24% 16.12% 5.96%
FTSE China A-H 50 0.43% 0.56% 6.06% 17.90% 45.55%
FTSE China A50 -0.28% 0.17% 5.73% 18.86% 44.24%
Index   2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
MSCI China H 5.94% -8.53% 17.09% 22.06% -12.30%
FTSE China 50 6.81% -7.54% 22.52% 22.66% -7.68%
Hang Seng China Enterprises (HSCEI) 7.08% -6.35% 14.99% 19.68% -14.08%
MSCI China 11.36% -15.37% 40.53% 20.86% -3.56%
S&P China 500 19.09% -18.92% 29.96% - -
MSCI China A Inclusion 26.92% - - - -
CSI 300 27.49% -23.62% 19.84% 1.33% 7.50%
MSCI China A International 27.95% -22.09% 16.43% -1.06% -
MSCI China A 28.22% -25.98% 11.19% -3.11% 11.03%
FTSE China A-H 50 29.44% -15.38% 27.92% - -
FTSE China A50 33.28% -20.06% 29.23% 7.62% -4.05%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/09/19; Calculations in GBP based on the largest ETF of the respective index.

 

Speciality

Chinese A-stocks (A-Shares): Stocks of Chinese companies that are listed on the Shanghai or Shenzhen stock exchange and traded in local currency.

This category has been exclusive to Chinese investors. However, professional foreign investors with a special license are able to invest in these stocks under certain restrictions.

Chinese B-stocks (B-Shares): Stocks of Chinese companies that are listed on the Shanghai or Shenzhen stock exchange and traded in foreign currency.

This category has been open for foreign investments. Since the restrictions on A-Shares have been lowered, these shares tend to be losing liquidity.

Hong Kong H-stocks (H-Shares): Stocks of Chinese companies that are listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange and traded in Hong Kong Dollar (HKD).

This category has been open for foreign investments as well. Most institutional investors prefer H-stocks due to their relatively high liquidity.

 
Alternative investment opportunities

Indices on Hong Kong listed stocks

Besides China ETFs you can invest in ETFs on the Hong Kong stock market. In order to invest in Hong Kong there are 0 indices, which are tracked by 0 ETFs. The total expense ratio (TER) of ETFs on Hong Kong is at -.

 
 
  • For the selected origin country, there are no ETFs with this investment focus available.
    You are able to select your country of origin on the top of the screen.
 

Regional indices on Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC)

As second alternative you can consider ETFs on the BRIC countries. In total, you can invest in 1 BRIC index tracked by 1 ETF. In BRIC indices China is weighted with over 70%. The S&P BRIC 40 contains the largest weight of Chinese stocks with 70.70%. The MSCI BRIC contains 61.07% China, the FTSE BRIC 50 73.12% and the DAXglobal® BRIC 33.33% (as of 31/03/2019). The total expense ratio (TER) of ETFs on BRIC countries is around 0.74% p.a..

 
Index Investment focus Number of ETFs Number of constituents Short description
FTSE BRIC 50 Emerging Markets
China: 73.12%
(31/03/2019)
1 ETF 50
The FTSE BRIC 50 index tracks the 50 largest stocks of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China).
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m GBP
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares BRIC 50 UCITS ETFIE00B1W57M07 180 0.74% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
FTSE BRIC 50 0.17% -3.35% 0.42% 5.74% 35.59%
Index   2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
FTSE BRIC 50 10.22% -3.63% 23.98% 39.62% -7.59%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/09/19; Calculations in GBP based on the largest ETF of the respective index.

 

Asian indices with over 30% China share

As further alternative you can invest in indices on Asia. In total, you can consider 4 Asian indices, which are tracked by 10 ETFs. The Asian indices contain with 30% to 50% less Chinese stocks than the BRIC indices. The total expense ratio (TER) of ETFs on Asian indices is between 0.12% p.a. and 0.74% p.a..

 
Index Investment focus Number of ETFs Number of constituents Short description
MSCI AC Asia ex Japan Asia Pacific
China: 37.33%
(31/03/2019)
2 ETFs 984
(30/09/19)
The MSCI AC Asia ex Japan index tracks equity markets of the emerging and developed countries of the Asia region, excluding Japan.
Index factsheet
MSCI AC Far East ex Japan Asia Pacific
China: 41.67%
(31/03/2019)
2 ETFs 902
(30/09/19)
The MSCI AC Far East ex Japan index tracks equity markets of the emerging and developed countries of the East Asian region, excluding Japan.
Index factsheet
MSCI Emerging Markets Asia Asia Pacific
China: 44.37%
(31/03/2019)
5 ETFs 913
(30/09/19)
The MSCI Emerging Markets Asia index tracks large and mid cap companies from Asian emerging markets.
Index factsheet
MSCI Emerging Markets Far East Asia Pacific
China: 50.62%
(31/03/2019)
1 ETF 831
(30/09/19)
The MSCI Emerging Markets Far East index tracks the largest companies in China (as accessible through the Hong Kong market), Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand.
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m GBP
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares MSCI AC Far East ex-Japan UCITS ETFIE00B0M63730 1,587 0.74% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
SPDR MSCI EM Asia UCITS ETFIE00B466KX20 538 0.55% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Amundi ETF MSCI Emerging Markets Asia UCITS ETF USDLU1681044563 511 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
iShares MSCI EM Asia UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B5L8K969 451 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Xtrackers MSCI AC Asia ex Japan Index Swap UCITS ETF 1CLU0322252171 388 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Xtrackers MSCI EM Asia Index Swap UCITS ETF 1CLU0292107991 388 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
HSBC MSCI AC Far East ex Japan UCITS ETF USDIE00BBQ2W338 243 0.45% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
UBS ETF (IE) MSCI AC Asia Ex Japan SF UCITS ETF (USD) A-accIE00B7WK2W23 82 0.23% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Swap-based
Lyxor MSCI EM Asia UCITS ETF - AccLU1781541849 44 0.12% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
HSBC MSCI EM Far East UCITS ETF USDIE00B5LP3W10 10 0.60% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
MSCI Emerging Markets Far East 0.80% -0.30% 1.30% 0.26% 24.86%
MSCI AC Far East ex Japan 0.55% -1.48% 0.63% 0.92% 24.20%
MSCI Emerging Markets Asia 0.97% -0.52% 1.26% 1.30% 24.92%
MSCI AC Asia ex Japan 0.71% -1.55% 0.71% 1.88% 24.53%
Index   2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
MSCI Emerging Markets Far East 9.11% -11.15% 30.13% 29.20% -6.80%
MSCI AC Asia ex Japan 9.12% -10.09% 28.95% 26.11% -5.38%
MSCI Emerging Markets Asia 9.61% -11.04% 29.62% 27.67% -5.84%
MSCI AC Far East ex Japan 9.98% -10.95% 28.59% 27.11% -5.57%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/09/19; Calculations in GBP based on the largest ETF of the respective index.