Barclays Global Investors' first Chinese exchange-traded fund is designed for U.S. customers, but the investment's success is raising Asian market officials' expectations for future index-based funds.

"We are very pleased to see the fast growth of the fund in such a short period of time. This demonstrates the huge demand for investment tools in China's capital market," said Zhu Shan, managing director of Xinhua Finances' index division, which partnered with Barclays on the ETF. "It also makes us feel confident about the continued growth of our index business over this coming year."

Sine its launch in October, BGI's Xinhua/FTSE China 25 Index Fund quickly ballooned to 12,450,000 outstanding shares. The ETF tracks a basket of major Chinese companies for minimal fees tied to its net asset value.

Zhu interprets the success of BGI's ETF as a positive first step toward additional Chinese market indexes that may appear later this year. In fact, the company is planning to launch a high-dividend index in March.

Xinhua Finance collects fixed and annual fees for licensing derivatives or index-linked investments. Fixed annual license fees are typically reserved for futures-related products.

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