On Monday, Invesco PowerShares registered to launch a new ETF that would focus on companies domiciled in 10 Middle Eastern and North African countries, reports Jeffrey Ptak for Morningstar.
The index is not yet named and the ETF is pending. But it will be called the PowerShares MENA Frontier Countries Portfolio. Around 50 companies will be part of the underlying index and a majority of the assets will be in Nigeria, Egypt, Morocco, Oman, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and United Arab Emirates.
This puts PowerShares in a race with Claymore for an ETF tracking frontier markets. The Claymore/BNY Frontier Select DR Index Fund would track an index of 26 companies from a universe of 40 frontier markets.
When they launch, the ETFs will join the SPDR S&P Emerging Middle East and Africa (GAF). The fund is allocated primarily in South Africa, at 55.3%. It also has weightings in Israel (21.4%), Morocco (7.1%), Egypt (5.7%) and Jordan (3.6%). Year-to-date, the fund is down 2.3%.
iShares last month also gave more Middle East exposure to investors with the launch of the iShares MSCI Israel Capped Investable Market Index Fund (EIS).
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