Global Buyback ETF Could be a Winner

February 26th at 8:00am by Todd Shriber

Admittedly, it is hard to get excited about an exchange traded fund that has yet to debut, but with all the attention heaped upon the still non-existent Bitcoin ETF, it is not unreasonable to examine other products in the ETF pipeline.

That includes the PowerShares International BuyBack Achievers Portfolio (NasdsaqGS: IPKW), which Invesco’s (NYSE: IVZ) PowerShares unit, the fourth-largest U.S. exchange traded funds issuer, said last week could debut as soon as Feb. 27. [PowerShares Plans Global Buyback ETF]

IPKW’s annual expense ratio of 0.5% has been revealed, indicating the ETF is close to coming to market, so this most likely not a pie-in-the-sky examination of an ETF that may never see the light of day.

Assuming it debuts, and it looks like it will, IPKW will be the global cousin of the wildly popular PowerShares Buyback Achievers Portfolio (NYSEArca: PKW).

PKW is not some flailing, obscure niche ETF. In the six-year period ending 2013, PKW outperformed the S&P 500 five times, usually by significant margins. Over the past year, it has been the third-best PowerShares ETF in terms of inflows, bringing in $2.2 billion of its almost $2.8 billion in assets under management.

IPKW has the look of a winner as well. It should be remembered that past performance is never a guarantee of future returns, but the NASDAQ International BuyBack Achievers Index (DRBXUS), IPKW’s underlying index, has had no problems besting the NASDAQ Global Ex United States TR Index (NQGXUST).

At least on a back-tested basis because the index debuted on Dec. 12, 2013. On that basis, data from NASDAQ OMX Global Indexes indicate the NASDAQ International BuyBack Achievers Index has handily outperformed the NASDAQ Global Ex United States TR Index over the one-, two- and three-year periods ending Jan. 31, 2014.

The NASDAQ International BuyBack Achievers Index is currently home to 41 companies including Agrium (NYSE: AGU), AMEC, Betfair Group, Celestica, Domtar and Nippon Meat Packers.  The index debuted with a base of 1,000 and currently trades just under 1,037.

NASDAQ International BuyBack Achievers Index One-Year Performance

Chart Courtesy: NASDAQ OMX Global Indexes

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