Terrible T’s: Thailand, Turkey ETFs Tumble to Start 2014

January 2nd at 2:37pm by Todd Shriber

Two of last year’s biggest disappointments among single-country emerging markets funds – the iShares MSCI Thailand Capped ETF (NYSEArca: THD) and the iShares MSCI Turkey ETF (NYSEArca: TUR) – have not started 2014 on strong notes.

THD plunged 14.6% last year, but TUR was nearly twice as worse with a loss of 27.3%. The negative sentiment has carried over to 2014 as THD is off 9.1% on volume that is already more than double the daily average.  At around $62.40, THD is in danger of its lowest close since the fourth quarter of 2011.

TUR, the lone Turkey ETF, is nothing to write home about either. That fund is off 3.3% on volume that is more than 50% above the daily average.  Thursday’s negative performance for Turkish equities comes after the country ranked as the fourth-worst global equity market in the world last year. Only Peru, Brazil and Chile were worse, according to Bespoke Investment Group.

Thailand was the tenth-worst market, according to Bespoke, but when accounting for countries that have a dedicated ETF, Thailand ranks as 2013’s eighth-worst market. [10 Worst Global Equity Markets By Single-Country ETFs]

THD is being plagued by news that anti-government protests in the Southeast Asian nation have thrown a wrench in plans to hold elections there early next month.

“In Thailand, the Election Commission’s declaration on Wednesday that protesters had blocked the registration of candidates in 28 constituencies throws into doubt elections set for Feb. 2, cementing the growing sense of crisis in Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy,” according to MarketWatch.

It is believed that ordinary Thai citizens want Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra out of office and the protests have, predictably, weighed on Thai equities. The benchmark SET Index is off almost 9% over the past 90 days. The Thai baht is lower for an 11th straight day and hovering near three-year lows against the dollar.

Global investors pulled $1.3 billion from Thai stocks last month, according to Bloomberg. Investors pulled $141.3 million from THD last year.

Prior to 2013, THD had surged in three of the previous four years with its worst performance being a 4.2% drop in 2011. That was sandwiched by gains of 56.7% in 2010 and 40.2% in 2012.

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