One of the last developments of the crazy tech stocks boom in 2000 was that banks started to launch very exotic funds on internet stocks. After stocks in traditional markets already went up tenfold and more a new “story” had to be invented: That of still “undervalued” tech stocks in “undervalued” regions. Shortly after the world of triple digit price/earnings-valuations collapsed these funds vanished for almost a decade.
However, just in time for the ten year anniversary of the dot.com-bubble Deutsche Bank launched last week an ETF on Chinese internet stocks. It is correct that neither internet stocks nor China are for investors a foreign territory as they used to be 10 years ago. Because of this familiarity with internet stocks investors nowadays do not accept missing of business models. Consequently, the upside of internet stocks is limited in many cases anyways. But unlike in 2000 this fund is launched in the middle of one of the world’s worst economic crises and not at the end of a bubble.
What does this tell me? Stock markets show cycles and these are about to be repeated. I cannot predict when and in which area the next bubble will build up, but I sure will look out carefully for the launch of funds on “Vietnamese e-commerce stocks”, “Bolivian coffee farms” or “Namibian solar parks”…
PS: With an annual 1.5% management fee the Chinese internet ETF is very expensive. Looks like the bankers thought an exotic ETF can demand an exotic pricing as well. Anohter indication that ETF does not automatically mean low fees.