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 9 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 up to 72%. The Asian indices weight China with 43% or less.

0.40% p.a. - 1.11% p.a.
annual total expense ratio (TER) of China ETFs
on the Chinese stock market, which is 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: 1.23%
1 year: 21.40%
3 years: 18.06%
5 years: 31.88%

Indices in comparison

The best indices for ETFs on China

For an investment in the Chinese stock market, 9 indices tracked by 14 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 0.40% p.a. and 1.11% p.a..

Index Investment focus Number of ETFs Number of constituents Short description

CSI 300

China 3 ETFs 300
The CSI 300 (price) index consists of the 300 stocks with the largest market capitalization and liquidity from the entire universe of listed A share companies in the People’s Republic of China.

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 A50 USD (price) 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.

FTSE China A50

China 1 ETF 50
The FTSE China A50 (price) 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 40
(30/11/15)
The Hang Seng China Enterprise (net) index (HSCEI) tracks the most important Chinese H-Shares, listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Index factsheet

MSCI China

China 2 ETFs 148
(31/10/16)
The MSCI China (total return) 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 819
(31/10/16)
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 International

China 1 ETF 434
(31/10/16)
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 71
(31/10/16)
The MSCI China H (total return) index tracks the largest and most liquid Chinese H-Shares, listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m GBP
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares China Large Cap UCITS ETFIE00B02KXK85 453 0.74% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
db x-trackers Harvest CSI 300 INDEX UCITS ETF (DR) 1DLU0875160326 232 0.65% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
db x-trackers CSI 300 UCITS ETF 1CLU0779800910 208 0.50% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
db x-trackers MSCI China Index UCITS ETF (DR) 1CLU0514695690 143 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
db x-trackers FTSE China 50 UCITS ETF (DR) 1CLU0292109856 136 0.60% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
HSBC MSCI China UCITS ETF USDIE00B44T3H88 117 0.60% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Lyxor Fortune SG UCITS ETF MSCI China A (DR) C-USDFR0011720911 42 0.65% p.a. Accumulating France Optimized sampling
Lyxor China Enterprise (HSCEI) UCITS ETF C-USDFR0010581413 36 0.65% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
iShares MSCI China A UCITS ETFIE00BQT3WG13 28 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
ETFS E Fund MSCI China A GO UCITS ETFIE00BHBFDF83 22 0.88% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Source FTSE China A50 UCITS ETF AIE00BGSHB123 18 1.11% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
Amundi ETF MSCI China UCITS ETF USDFR0010871111 7 0.55% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
db x-trackers Harvest FTSE China A-H 50 INDEX UCITS ETF (DR) 1DLU1310477036 4 0.65% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
Lyxor UCITS ETF CSI 300 A-Share C-USDFR0011526904 4 0.40% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
MSCI China A 0.22% 6.99% 30.64% 7.45% -
MSCI China A International 1.02% 8.00% 33.18% 8.79% -
CSI 300 1.47% 8.68% 34.31% 11.02% -
FTSE China A50 2.24% 9.62% 32.82% 19.27% -
Hang Seng China Enterprises (HSCEI) 0.54% 7.59% 38.01% 23.83% 20.17%
MSCI China -4.22% 3.47% 31.65% 24.43% 29.85%
MSCI China H 0.14% 7.18% 38.14% 24.84% 23.44%
FTSE China 50 -1.57% 4.78% 33.70% 25.91% 29.04%
FTSE China A-H 50 2.09% 10.73% 37.22% - -
Index   2016
in %
2015
in %
2014
in %
2013
in %
2012
in %
MSCI China A 2.51% 11.03% - - -
MSCI China A International 4.95% - - - -
CSI 300 6.03% 7.55% - - -
FTSE China A50 14.48% -4.05% - - -
Hang Seng China Enterprises (HSCEI) 24.13% -13.99% 20.65% -5.32% 13.32%
MSCI China 24.43% -3.56% 13.58% 0.52% 16.69%
MSCI China H 24.85% -12.30% 20.38% -4.41% 14.76%
FTSE China 50 25.45% -7.76% 18.61% -3.42% 11.82%
FTSE China A-H 50 - - - - -

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/11/16; Calculations in GBP based on the largest ETF of the respective index.

 

The cheapest China ETFs
by total expense ratio (TER)

Show all

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 up to 72%. The S&P BRIC 40 contains the largest weight of Chinese stocks with 71.50%. The MSCI BRIC contains 56.34% China, the FTSE BRIC 50 59.48% and the DAXglobal® BRIC 35.92% (as of 31/10/2016). 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: 59.48%
(31/10/2016)
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 213 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 -4.87% 3.55% 32.61% 35.22% 23.95%
Index   2016
in %
2015
in %
2014
in %
2013
in %
2012
in %
FTSE BRIC 50 37.55% -7.47% 1.87% -5.56% 6.99%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/11/16; Calculations in GBP based on the largest ETF of the respective index.

 

Asian indices with over 20% China share

As further alternative you can invest in indices on Asia. In total, you can consider 4 Asian indices, which are tracked by 9 ETFs. The Asian indices contain with 31% to 43% less Chinese stocks than the BRIC indices. The total expense ratio (TER) of ETFs on Asian indices is between 0.20% 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: 31.30%
(31/10/2016)
1 ETF 622
(31/10/16)
The MSCI AC (All Cap) 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: 34.78%
(31/10/2016)
2 ETFs 548
(31/10/16)
The MSCI AC (All Cap) 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: 37.60%
(31/10/2016)
5 ETFs 550
(31/10/16)
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: 42.72%
(31/10/2016)
1 ETF 476
(31/10/16)
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 1,227 0.74% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
Amundi ETF MSCI EM Asia UCITS ETF EURFR0011020965 548 0.20% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
db x-trackers MSCI EM Asia Index UCITS ETF 1CLU0292107991 471 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
db x-trackers MSCI AC Asia ex Japan Index UCITS ETF 1CLU0322252171 387 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Amundi ETF MSCI EM Asia UCITS ETF USDFR0011018316 231 0.20% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
SPDR MSCI EM Asia UCITS ETFIE00B466KX20 210 0.55% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
iShares MSCI EM Asia UCITS ETFIE00B5L8K969 161 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
HSBC MSCI AC Far East ex Japan UCITS ETF USDIE00BBQ2W338 133 0.60% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
HSBC MSCI EM Far East UCITS ETF USDIE00B5LP3W10 31 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 AC Asia ex Japan -5.67% 1.68% 26.85% 27.86% 29.50%
MSCI Emerging Markets Asia -5.63% 1.16% 27.42% 27.99% 29.97%
MSCI Emerging Markets Far East -5.57% 1.60% 28.77% 28.34% 26.00%
MSCI AC Far East ex Japan -5.17% 2.36% 27.97% 28.53% 27.07%
Index   2016
in %
2015
in %
2014
in %
2013
in %
2012
in %
MSCI AC Asia ex Japan 27.09% -5.38% 10.26% -0.24% 16.11%
MSCI Emerging Markets Asia 27.42% -5.79% 10.92% -1.11% 15.50%
MSCI AC Far East ex Japan 28.36% -5.61% 8.53% 0.29% 16.02%
MSCI Emerging Markets Far East 29.13% -6.63% 8.16% -0.10% 14.05%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/11/16; Calculations in GBP based on the largest ETF of the respective index.