Second supply chain ETF debuts in China despite Omicron blockade
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China’s second logistics-focused exchange-traded fund made its debut this week, even as the country’s fight to contain the spread of the Omicron variant through a strict lockdown continues to stretch global supply chains.
The China Securities Modern Logistics ETF managed by Yinhua Fund was listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange on Jan. 17 after raising initial assets of 269 million yuan ($42.4 million), public records show.
The listing comes seven months after China’s first such themed product, the China Securities Modern Logistics ETF, managed by Wells Fargo Fund, launched in June last year with just over 281 million yuan in its first round of subscriptions.
According to its listing announcement, the Yinhua ETF held only 27.2% of its Chinese equity assets as of Jan. 10, as it was still building its portfolio.
Both supply chain-themed ETFs track the CSI Modern Logistics Index, which has 46 constituents covering the nation’s largest suppliers, warehouses, transportation companies, distribution centers and online retailers.
The underlying benchmark closed yesterday at 1,352.5, up 17.5% since the start of last year and 26.9% since January 2020, as the pandemic spurred demand for online shopping and the central government frequently imposed regional lockdowns to maintain its zero outbreak target.
The Fullgoal strategy has returned 14.9% since its launch, while its benchmark has outperformed most broad-based indices, according to Wind data. Still, the ETF now has just 43 million yuan in assets, down 85% from the new subscriptions it first received.
While sharp falls in fund assets are common, as Chinese investors often rush to buy new funds only to sell them, it can also highlight lingering weaknesses in domestic consumption, in part due to tough measures by Chinese policymakers to eliminate All coronavirus cases.
The lockdown in the central city of Xi’an is now in its third week, with some 13 million people still locked in their homes. The populous port city of Tianjin near Beijing and several manufacturing centers in central Henan and southern Guangdong provinces have implemented mandatory testing.
Beijing reported its first locally transmitted case of Omicron on January 15, just weeks before the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday and the Winter Olympics.
The latest restrictions have exacerbated supply chain disruptions in recent months. The world’s third largest container port is located in Ningbo in eastern China, pause Some freight services after the outbreak of the local epidemic have exacerbated the congestion of ships.
Meanwhile, automakers Volkswagen and Toyota both closed their Tianjin factories last week. In Xi’an, Samsung has struggled with staff shortages due to the lockdown.
Retail sales rose just 1.7 percent in December from a year earlier, the slowest pace in 14 months, a sign of anxiety among Chinese consumers.
But even as businesses operating in China grapple with shortages of raw materials and transportation bottlenecks, the growth of the local logistics sector, supported by the world’s largest group of digital shoppers, is expected to continue the upward trend it has tracked for the past six years.
Between January and November last year, China’s express delivery services delivered nearly 98.1 billion packages domestically, up 32.3 percent year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Transport.
The revenue of Chinese suppliers rose by nearly a third between 2016 and 2020, to 10.5 tonnes, according to the China Academy of Commerce and Industry. The 2021 figure is expected to hit 11.3t, a slight dip in expansion but still higher than pre-pandemic levels.
*Ignites Asia is FT Specialist’s news service for professionals in the asset management industry. It covers everything from new product launches to regulations and industry trends.Trial and subscription versions are available at ignitesasia.com.