Tech-hungry investors snap up China's first STAR Market ETFs

Credit: REUTERS/CHINA STRINGER NETWORK

China's first exchange-traded funds (ETFs) investing in Shanghai's Nasdaq-style STAR Market attracted around 100 billion yuan ($14.8 billion) on Tuesday, the asset managers behind them said, five times their target.

SHANGHAI, Sept 22 (Reuters) - China's first exchange-traded funds (ETFs) investing in Shanghai's Nasdaq-style STAR Market attracted around 100 billion yuan ($14.8 billion) on Tuesday, the asset managers behind them said, five times their target.

The scramble for the four ETFs tracking the STAR50 index .STAR50 suggest undiminished retail appetite for technology stocks, despite Washington's escalating "tech war" with Beijing and bodes well for Ant Group's upcoming listing.

The STAR50 ETFs launched by China Asset Management Co (ChinaAMC), E Fund Management Co, Huatai-PineBridge Fund Management Co and ICBC Credit Suisse Asset Management Co, had each aimed to raise as much as 5 billion yuan.

"Over the long-term, STAR Market will likely become China's Nasdaq, breeding a large group of world-leading Chinese technology giants," Zhang Hongtao, fund manager at ChinaAMC, said during an online presentation promoting its STAR50 ETF.

Although STAR50 trades at 80 times earnings, compared with 36 times for Nasdaq, fund managers promoting the ETFs say such conventional yardsticks miss the point.

Citing U.S. electric carmaker Tesla TSLA.O, Liu Jun, fund manager at Huatai-PineBridge, said in a live roadshow that static valuation methods do not reflect the potential "explosive" growth of tech firms.

ETFs offer retail investors easy access to the STAR Market, where the investment threshold is high, and exposure to China's top technology companies.

Ant, which plans to list simultaneously in Hong Kong and on Shanghai's STAR Market, is expected to be included in the STAR50 next March, ChinaAMC fund manager Rong Ying said.

ChinaAMC, the country's biggest ETF manager, attracted over 40 billion yuan of subscription money. E Fund drew in nearly 28 billion yuan while Huatai-PineBridge and ICBC Credit Suisse roughly 20 billion and 9 billion yuan respectively, the companies said, adding that the figures were not final.

($1 = 6.7736 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Samuel Shen and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Alexander Smith)

((samuel.shen@thomsonreuters.com; +86 21 20830018; Reuters Messaging: samuel.shen.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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