One subject I did not cover in detail about the iPath India ETN (NYSEARCA:INP) in my earlier post is premium/discount of INP from the net asset value (NYSE:NAV) or intrinsic value of the assets held. One big advantage of INP compared to Morgan Stanley India Fund (NYSE:IIF) and Blackstone India fund (NYSE:IFN) is that with INP one doesn't need to risk the premium/discount issues associated with other ETFs. For example, as of this writing the following are the premium/discounts of the three securities according to etfconnect.com
INP: 0.12% (premium)
IIF : -12.38% (discount)
IFN: -11.37$ (discount)
In other words IIF and IFN are trading at about 12% discount from the underlying assets. If you bought one of these funds in the past they have not appreciated as much as the securities they are holding. Although some of the discount can be attributed to the dividends they pay there is no guarantee that they will continue to do so. If you want to understand the reason behind why iPath ETN (INP) is trading close to the net asset value, read on, but I must warn you that this is bit technical.
iPath India ETN (INP) is based on MSCI India total market index. This index is calculated by MSCI, independent of the Barcleys which issues the security. Barcleys is interested in making sure that the security performance in the open market accurately reflects the underlying index. In order to ensure this Barcleys offers a weekly redemption option through which anyone can redeem (minimum 50,000 securities) securities for the weekly redemption value calculated based on the index.
Barcleys expectation is that arbitrageurs (traders who take advantage of difference in a security's value in two different markets; in this case open market and weekly redemption option) will ensure that the INP value does not deviate too much from the index value. In fact there are some indications that this is the case. If you look at the chart of INP vs NDEUSIA, which represents the MSCI India index at Bloomberg, you would notice that the security is tracking the index closely. Off course during the day/week there will be some differences due to the demand vs supply for the security as well as what investors expect from the next days market in India.