Global X is becoming known for its fast-growing lineup of first-mover exchange traded funds (ETFs), and today’s launch of the Argentina ETF is no exception.
The Global X FTSE Argentina 20 ETF (NYSEArca: ARGT) began trading this morning, writes The ETF Professor for Benzinga. The fund has an expense ratio of 0.75% and is the first Argentina ETF available to U.S. traders.
ARGT will track the FTSE Argentina 20 Index, which measures the performance of the top 20 companies within Argentina. The top three components of the ETF include steel-tube maker Tenaris SA (TS, TEN.MI), online retailer Mercadolibre (MELI), and banking concern Banco Macro SA (BMA, BMA.BA), reports Ken Parks for Automated Trader. Energy is the top sector, with a 33.6% weighting. Energy is becoming increasingly important to the economy, which is moving toward energy independence.
Financials make up 21.1% and information technology accounts for 10.3% of the fund.
A key issue that has kept Argentina out of overseas investor portfolios is the fact that the government has weighty capital controls that discouraged foreign investors. Currently, retail investors mostly account for local trading volumes in Argentina’s markets, whereas offshore listings of Argentine stocks have high liquidity and volume.
The launch however, comes at a nice time for the growing economy.
Argentina’s economy, the second-largest in South America behind Brazil, expanded 9.1% in 2010 and President Cristina Fernandez plans on implementing policies that will help maintain a 5% annual GDP growth over the next decade.
However, the country is facing double-digit inflation, political bumps ahead of elections season and a more moderate growth outlook – the Central Bank projects GDP growth of 3.5% to 6.5% this year.
President Fernandez also stated that unemployment dropped to 7.3% in the last quarter of 210, down from 7.5% in the third quarter, according to Bloomberg. In 2003, unemployment was more than 20%.
For more information on Argentina visit our Argentina category.
Max Chen contributed to this article.