3 More India ETFs Your Broker Forgot to Mention
Asia's third-largest economy India was once an emerging markets darling. More recently, the country is home to slowing economic growth, crumbling infrastructure, a tenuous hold on an investment-grade credit rating and a government that has been accused of doing nothing to address any of those issues.
However, India may still be teeming with profitable opportunities for savvy investors. For example, the country's infrastructure needs could prove to be a valid investment thesis in the coming years.
It might seem implausible that any ETF tracking India could lead an anonymous existence. Yet that is the case with a few of the funds tracking this erstwhile emerging markets star.
Investors might do well to familiarize themselves with the following lesser-known India ETFs:
iShares MSCI India Small Cap Index Fund (BATS: SMIN) The iShares MSCI India Small Cap Index Fund debuted in February, meaning the fund only caught the tail-end of the early 2012 run higher by India ETFs. In addition, SMIN entered an arena loaded with competition where the the EGShares India Small-Cap ETF (NYSE: SCIN) and the Market Vectors India Small-Cap ETF (NYSE: SCIF) were established as the top choices for investors looking for exposure to Indian small-caps.
Given that competition, investors may not be surprised that SMIN has struggled to attract assets. Still, it has a lower expense ratio than SCIN and SCIF. Moreover, SMIN has outperformed its two rivals over the past three months.
EGShares India Consumer ETF (NYSE: INCO) A consumer focus did not help the EGShares India Consumer ETF avoid the downdraft that hit the India space earlier this year. Investors may be growing tired of waiting for the emerging markets consumer theme to move from potentially to actually profitable.
One notable characteristic of INCO is its sector allocations. The fund offers some discretionary exposure but is heavy on staples. Personal goods and food stocks combine for 41 percent of the fund's weight. Beverage and tobacco names combine for another 16 percent.
Risk with INCO is two-fold. The ETF is not heavily traded. Also, given the fund's exposure to food names, INCO would likely be vulnerable should inflation in India spike.
iShares MSCI India Index Fund (BATS: INDA) As was the case with SMIN, INDA debuted in February and took on plenty of competition in the process. With $18.3 million in assets under management, INDA has been decent at attracting investors. But the fund still has far less assets than the WisdomTree India Earnings ETF (NYSE: EPI) and the PowerShares India Portfolio (NYSE: PIN).
An ETF that faces as much established competition as INDA likely must stand out if to attract assets. INDA has done that by outperforming some of its larger rivals and by having a lower expense ratio than EPI and PIN.
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