A growing area of interest in the exchange traded fund market is“infrastructure” ETFs. Infrastructure generally refers to equities that are involved in utilities, energy and transportation infrastructure which broadly includes airports, highways and railroad tracks, marine ports and services, and electric, gas and water utilities.
From this description, most would assume that equities that derive revenues from infrastructure activities would benefit from growing economies that are raising cap ex spending and putting a labor force to work in achieving such infrastructure build outs.
SPDR FTSE/Macquarie Global Infrastructure 100 ETF (NYSEArca: GII) was “first in class,” listing in February of 2007, and followed 10 months later by iShares S&P Global Infrastructure (NYSEArca: IGF).
PowerShares Global Emerging Markets Infrastructure (NYSEArca: PXR) is another alternative in the space, and in the past two years a number of highly specialized infrastructure ETF plays have hit the map that hone in on specific exposure to the space, fine tuning away from the “global” scope of some of the other funds. These include EG Shares India Infrastructure (NYSEArca: INXX), iShares S&P Emerging Markets Infrastructure (NasdaqGM: EMIF), EG Shares China Infrastructure (NYSEArca: CHXX) and EG Shares Brazil Infrastructure (NYSEArca: BRXX).
Year to date, the best performer has been IGF, down 5.01%, followed by GII (-6.79%), BRXX (-8.61%), CHXX (-10.83%), EMIF (-12.47%), PXR (-15.80%) and INXX (-22.83%).