On the Chinese Zodiac calendar, it will not be the year of the pig again until 2020. That is alright because in what is becoming more rule than exception, October was arguably the month of the PIIGS ETFs.
So strong were the single-country PIIGS ETFs last month that two points come to mind. First, it is just speculation, but it could be getting tempting for some issuer to list a Portugal ETF. Second, so strong were the PIIGS ETF in October that the “laggard” of the group was the iShares MSCI Ireland Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EIRL) with a gain of 3.5%. [Ireland ETF Jumps as Country Departs Bailout]
Indeed, investors embraced single-country Europe ETFs last month. “Single-country European stock ETFs raked in $400 million in October. Some $180 million headed into the $792 million iShares MSCI Spain Capped ETF (NSYEArca: EWP) to lead the way,” reports Chris Dietrich for the Wall Street Journal.
Investors were reward for their EWP allocations as the lone Spain ETF jumped 6.8%, a gain that sounds pretty good until measured against the 8.2% surge offered by the iShares MSCI Italy ETF (NYSEArca: EWI). Then again, adding those gains together “only” equals 15%, which is less than the 15.6% for the Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (NYSEArca: GREK).
Greece earned its third demotion to emerging markets status this year when S&P Dow Jones Indices announced the move on Thursday. [Greece Gets Another Market Demotion]
It is clearly hard to top the one-month performance just turned by GREK, but there is a bit of warning label as it pertains to EWP’s October jump. Investors could have earned 6.3% with the Global X FTSE Norway 30 ETF (NYSEArca: NORW), an ETF that tracks an AAA-rated nation and one that was 360 basis points less volatile the EWP last month.
iShares MSCI Spain Capped ETF