WisdomTree Launches China Payout ETF
September 19, 2012
WisdomTree, the only publicly traded company focused exclusively on sponsoring exchange-traded funds, is rolling out an ETF today that will serve up access to nonfinancial Chinese companies that pay attractive dividends.
The WisdomTree China Dividend ex-Financials Fund (NasdaqGM: CHXF) will track a proprietary index that measures the performance of the 10 largest stocks by float adjusted market capitalization in various sectors—including consumer discretionary and staples, energy, health care, industrials, information technology, materials, telecommunication services and utilities—but that excludes financial names. CHXF will cost 0.63 percent in annual fees.
The launch caters to investors’ appetite not only for exposure to income-generating strategies at a time of ultra-low interest rates, but for access to China. China is battling an economic slowdown in its own turf, but the country remains nonetheless a key player in the global economy, particularly in the emerging market space.
Indeed, despite a drop in second-quarter GDP, China is still forecast to grow some 7.5 percent this year, a solid performance at a time when other such countries as its BRIC counterpart, Brazil, for instance, is looking at an economic expansion of under 2 percent in 2012.
The fact that WisdomTree is planning an ETF that steers clear of financial companies appears to reflect underlying worry among analysts that some big Chinese banks may be on the hook for billions of dollars in bad loans. The move is also an attempt to increase diversification away from the traditional financial-heavy strategies, the company said.
"The case for investing in China has become increasingly apparent to investors, but we believe some of the most popular China index-based strategies fail to offer diversified exposure," Luciano Siracusano, WisdomTree chief investment strategist, said in a press release. "In fact, the FTSE China 25 Index—tracked by the biggest China ETF in the U.S.—has more than 50 percent of its weight in the financial sector."
Companies are eligible to be included in the index if they have at least $1 billion in float-adjusted market capitalization, are domiciled in China and are listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the company said in a filing.
The portfolio securities are weighted based on annual cash dividends paid, with any individual stock capped at 10 percent of the total mix. What’s more, no single sector may represent more than 25 percent of the portfolio.
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