ETF Trends
ETF Trends

While not always foolproof, there is a school of thought in financial markets that one year’s trash can become the next year’s treasure.

Plenty of emerging markets exchange traded funds will be looking to undergo the metamorphosis from ugly duckling to beautiful swan in 2014 and few more so than the iShares MSCI Turkey ETF (NYSEArca: TUR). TUR slumped 6.6% to a new 52-week Thursday on volume that was more than quadruple the daily average after Prime Minister Erdogan fired four ministers and announced a new cabinet change up of 10 new cabinet members, following a slew of corruption charges. [Political Crisis Batters Turkey ETF]

The news sent the already embattled Turkish lira to a record low and the benchmark Borsa Instanbul 100 Index inched towards its lowest levels since August 2012. Environment and Urban Planning Minister Erdogan Bayraktar called for Erdogan’s resignation and TUR, which gained almost 66% last year, is now down 31.4% this year. [10 Worst Global Markets by Single-Country ETFs]

Although investors have pulled $162.3 million from TUR this year, some see opportunity with the battered ETF.

“A stronger Europe, as it continues to mend itself, and a lessening of political tension could be catalysts for stronger growth,” said Joseph Tatusko, chief investment officer at Westport Resources, in an interview with Investor’s Business Daily.

“Further, Turkey has a strong services sector, a growing industrial base and is an important energy hub bridging production from the former Soviet countries and the Middle East with the demand centers in Europe. This is indicative of a diverse and largely privatized economy,” added Tatusko.

Still, TUR has a ways to go to mend fences with scorned emerging markets investors as the ETF careens to just its second annual loss in the past five years. Turkey was once seen as beacon of economic and political stability in a volatile corner of the world, but Erdogan has seen to it that investors are unlikely to believe that thesis again anytime soon.

That could make it difficult to stomach a three-year standard deviation of over 29%, which is over 900 basis higher than that of the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: EEM).

On the other hand, there may be something to be said for buying TUR after a down year. The ETF lost 36.6% in 2011 before surging almost 66% last year.

iShares MSCI Turkey ETF

 

 

Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of EEM.