ETF Spotlight on SPDR S&P Emerging Middle East & Africa (GAF), part of a recurring series.

Assets: $90.4 million


This fund tracks the S&P/Citigroup BMI Middle East & Africa Index, a market-cap weighted index that measures the investable universe of publicly traded companies in emerging markets in the Middle East and Africa. Countries in the index include Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa.

What’s Good

Since emerging markets can be risky – this fund is a good way to get diversified exposure to a wide variety of growing economies.

The Latest News

  • Economists predict that 15 of the 20 fastest-growing countries for 2009 will be in Africa, reports Stefanie Eschanbacher for fundstrategy.
  • Some African countries may become the “second generation of emerging markets” with macroeconomic performances on par with those of Asia countries’ back in the 1980s.
  • In Africa, the political and social environment is becoming more stable, and there are institutional reforms that have set interest rates and sound monetary policies. Make no mistake, though: Africa is still a volatile continent and there are risks involved when looking to frontier markets for investment.
  • In the Middle East, the sharp drop in oil prices is shrinking revenues for oil exporters but also import costs for oil importers.
  • Despite lower oil revenues, cuts in oil input and an increase in crude supplies, the World Bank has pegged the oil exporting nations of the Middle East to grow at 2.9% in 2009.
  • SPDR S&P Middle East & Africa (GAF) is up 16.4% year-to-date.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.