Five Countries Underrepresented in ETFs
A few weeks ago, we looked at five stocks that, in our opinion, are underrepresented in the ETF universe. And this week, the fine folks at ETFdb examined the five countries most represented in ETFs. So maybe the time is right to take a look at some countries that aren't featured prominently enough in ETFs.
At least in our opinion and since this an opinion piece, we're not looking at the countries that are most underrepresented among ETFs, though chances are many investors will agree with several of the countries on this list.
Greece No surprise here since the “G” in PIIGS has no ETF of its own, though Global X has filed plans for a Greece ETF. According to the CIA World Fact Book, Greece had the 32nd-largest economy in the world last year. Countries with small economies that have specific ETFs include Colombia, Malaysia, Singapore, Egypt, Israel, Chile, the Philippines and Peru, just to name few. Less than 20 ETFs offer any exposure to Greece and the largest allocation the country gets in the Guggenheim Shipping ETF (NYSE: SEA) at less than 10%, according to ETFdb.
Denmark Considering it's the 31st-largest economy in the world, according to the CIA, and a highly developed market that sparkles compared to much of Europe, Denmark doesn't get a lot of love in the ETF world. Roughly 25 ETFs offer Denmark exposure and only the Global X FTSE Nordic Region ETF (NYSE: GXF) does so on any noteworthy level. Global X also has plans for a Denmark-specific ETF.
Philippines Only a dozen ETFs offer exposure to this rapidly-growing Asian tiger. Exclude the iShares MSCI Philippines Investable Market Index Fund (NYSE: EPHE) and every ETF offering Philippines exposure does so to the tune of less than 5% and many are at less than 1%.
Uruguay Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru all have ETFs. South American peer Uruguay does not. At least Uruguay can say it won the inaugural World Cup in 1930. Soccer-crazy Chile, Colombia and Peru have never won the World Cup.
Saudi Arabia Considering it's the biggest OPEC member and the second-largest oil producer overall, it's odd Saudi Arabia isn't found in the Market Vectors Gulf States Index ETF (NYSE: MES) or the WisdomTree Middle East Dividend ETF (NYSE: GULF). In fact, we can't find any ETFs that offer any exposure to the Kingdom at all.
Bull case: It's not a reach to do some value hunting with ETFs that offer exposure to Denmark or the other Nordic countries right now and EPHE is worth watching amid the current emerging markets shakeout. It might take a miracle to get bullish on Greece anytime in the next three years.
Bear case: Problems in China would impact EPHE and a real Greek default would hurt every ETF mentioned on this list. Period.
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