3 Key Country ETFs Have Viable Alternatives

Investors are paying close attention to China, Japan, and India ETFs lately, according to VettaFi’s Explorer data and analytics tool. Interest in non-U.S. economies is high as investors look for more ways to diversify their portfolios.

BlackRock’s iShares arm offers ETFs covering each of those markets that are the largest in their respective categories and have brought in the most assets year-to-date relative to their competitors. However, those competitors might be a better fit for some investors. The LOGICLY tool offers comparative data that can help put these funds in context in terms of their differences.

China and India ETFs in Focus

China, Japan and India iShares ETFs

China, Japan, and India iShares ETFs YTD performance, per LOGICLY.

The iShares MSCI China ETF (MCHI) offers exposure to China’s equity market. The fund has brought in about $7.8 billion since it launched in March 2011. It also has an expense ratio of 0.58%, less than the average for funds in the same category. In terms of flows this year, MCHI gained $353.14 million. Despite a strong start to 2023, it has recorded a lackluster year-to-date return of -3.10%, underperforming the top iShares ETFs representing Japan and India.

Although MCHI started the year off strong, it took a downward turn in late January and is still in a slump despite the country lifting all remaining COVID restrictions in the spring. While investor interest has receded somewhat, it is still strong and may have been stabilized by Chinese President Xi Jinping remaining consistent in his expressed commitment to the country’s growth.

The iShares MSCI India ETF (INDA) has an AUM of $5.9 billion and has added more than $940 million in inflows so far this year. The largest portion of those new assets was added this month. It has a YTD performance of 7.17% and posted a 14.27% annualized three-year return.

This year, India displaced China as the most populous country. It also currently ranks as the fifth-largest economy and had one of the best-performing stock markets in the second quarter of 2023.