DUPT: Ex-Euro Europe ETFs Hold Promise (TUR, EPOL, EDEN)
It's a fact of life: You'll have an "ex" something at some point. An ex-employer. An ex-boyfriend or girlfriend. In the world of ETFs, there are plenty of exes to go around, but they usually pertain to an ex-U.S. or ex-Japan fund.
A good idea for another "ex" ETF would be Europe ex-Euro nations, or those countries that are not among the 17 currently using the embattled common currency. With that idea in mind, we built our own portfolio of non-Euro European nations.
Since acronyms are all the rage in global investing these days, we even came up with our own: DUPT. Vowels were hard to come by as there are no ETFs for the likes of Albania or Estonia, but at least three of members of this quartet aren't duping anybody. Rather, they're offering some pretty solid returns this year.
Starting with the "D" in DUPT...
iShares MSCI Denmark Capped Investable Market Index Fund (BATS: EDEN) Trading on the BATS Exchange hasn't held the iShares MSCI Denmark Capped Investable Market Index Fund back, at least not in terms of performance. The first Denmark-specific ETF is up more than 12% since its late January debut. That's better than what the S&P 500 has offered over the same time horizon.
The BATS listing may be holding back EDEN's asset growth as the fund has less than $3 million in AUM, but on the other hand, volume is fair for a new ETF at almost 10,200 shares per day. Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt has been a supporter of fair austerity and her country's economy is forecast to show GDP growth this year falling contraction in the third quarter of 2011. Noteworthy is the fact that Danish exporters were able to boost exports during the fourth quarter of 2011 despite slumping demand in Europe.
iShares MSCI United Kingdom Small Cap Index Fund (BATS: EWUS) We turn to another BATS-listed fund for the "U" in DUPT, opting to go with the small-cap play on the United Kingdom. While the iShares MSCI United Kingdom Small Cap Index Fund is up about 10% since its late January debut, but this is the ETF and the economy to wary of on this list. The U.K. has been called expensive relative to developed market peers and there are economic issues to aware of including slumping growth and rising unemployment.
Frankly, once a Ukraine-specific ETF comes to market, Ukraine will be the "U" in DUPT.
Poland's economy may be smaller than Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) market cap, but last month the European Commission forecast Polish GDP growth of 2.5% this year and while that rate lacks an emerging markets feel, it's still the highest projected growth number for any of the EU's 27 member nations. “Investment spending growth is expected to remain robust, supported by accelerating private investment. The corporate sector is likely to continue to increase capacity, financed by intensifying inflows of foreign capital, retained earnings and growing corporate credit," the Commission said, according to Bloomberg.
iShares MSCI Turkey Investable Market Index Fund (NYSE: TUR) The iShares MSCI Turkey Investable Market Index Fund has had an excellent year and is up about 27%. Looking at the ETF's chart, it's easy to see TUR is a critical technical juncture. The ETF needs to breakthrough resistance around $52.50, which it has tested with no success several times this year, or risk falling back to $50, perhaps lower.
Beyond the technicals, there are compelling fundamentals attached to Turkey including a services-driven economy and a falling public sector debt/GDP ratio.
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