Following a second-quarter loss of 17.5%, one that put the ETF dangerously close to the definition of a bear market, the iShares MSCI Turkey ETF (NYSEArca: TUR) could be viewed by adventurous investors as a credible second-half rebound play.
Some patience may be required for that thesis to bear fruit because Turkish bonds and equities, already under siege in the wake of protests aimed at Prime Minister’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government, could experience. Of course, it should not be forgotten that the Turkish lira hit a record low against the U.S. dollar in late June. [Turkey ETF: Time to get Back In?]
Like some other emerging markets, ratings agencies see the possibility of a liquidity shortfall in Turkey, news that comes just months after the country garnered an investment-grade credit rating. When evaluating a country’s potential of experiencing liquidity challenges, Standard & Poor’s examines the need for external financing, size of short-term foreign debt and current-account deficit and Turkey ranks among the top eight emerging markets on those metrics, reports Lyubov Pronina for Bloomberg.
As investors recently saw with China ETFs, liquidity concerns predictably weigh on bank stocks. Should those concerns escalate in Turkey, TUR would not be immune to similar shocks. Like so many emerging markets ETFs, TUR is heavily allocated to financials with an almost 49% weight to that sector. [SHIBOR Woes Could Slam These ETFs]
Anti-government protests and fears of a liquidity crunch are new territories for Turkey and TUR. Turkey was once viewed as the beacon of stability and economic advancement in the Arab world. Last year, investors bought into the Turkish investment thesis in significant fashion, sending TUR to an annual gain of almost 66%.
Now investors have contend with a plunging lira, slumping equities and soaring bond yields. Investors in Turkey’s dollar bond due in 2023 lost 9.6% last month, according to Bloomberg. [Turkey ETF Plunges 20% in a Month]