Post bin Laden, What Becomes Of Pakistan ETF?
Alright, let's clear that up. There is no Pakistan-specific ETF currently available to U.S. investors, but if there was one, it would be reasonable to assume it would have declined in the days following the death of notorious terrorist Osama bin Laden at the hands of U.S. Navy Seals.
Fragile to say the least prior to bin Laden's death, U.S./Pakistan relations are likely to be strained somewhat over the medium-term, if not longer, but the impact for ETF investors is likely to be minimal as there are currently no ETFs offering exposure to Pakistan, according to ETFdb.com.
Once upon a time, the Guggenheim Frontier Markets ETF (NYSE: FRN) offered slight exposure to Pakistan and if it still does, the country isn't among the ETF's top-10 holdings, which account for roughly 91% of the fund's weight.
In February 2010, Global X, the New York-based ETF issuer with over $1.8 billion in assets under management and one of the fastest-growing U.S. ETF firms, filed plans for a Pakistan-specific ETF. It should be noted that not every ETF that any issuer files plans with the SEC for comes to market and over the past few years, there have been many more filings than new product introductions.
So what does the future hold for Pakistan-specific ETFs? Only time will tell. Per regulatory guidelines, Global X cannot comment on plans for its Pakistan ETF and as U.S./Pakistan relations remain tense, the country may not be one other ETF issuers are eager to embrace in the near-term.
As far as Global X goes, the firm has already rolled out over a dozen new ETFs this year, including three last week alone. The firm's ideas are almost always unique and first-to-market, so is anyone really going to cry if we don't get a Pakistan ETF?
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