Exchange traded funds linked to the Fragile Five countries got some help Tuesday evening when the Turkish central bank raised its overnight lending rate to 12% from 7.75% and more than doubled the overnight borrowing rate to 8% to 3.5%.
More help arrived during Wednesday’s Asian session when another Fragile Five, or BIITS, member, Indonesia, was upgraded by Morgan Stanley to equalweight from underweight. Although the Market Vectors Indonesia ETF (NYSEArca: IDX) and the iShares MSCI Indonesia ETF (NYSEArca: EIDO) have been less bad than other emerging markets funds this year, Indonesian stocks have been under pressure for over a year due to weakening rupiah that has exacerbated widening external deficits. [Indonesia Fraught With Risk]
“We have observed positive signs along multiple fronts in Indonesia, including an improvement in the trade balance, further currency adjustment, an appropriate monetary policy response to the increase in the global risk-free rate and on the ground infrastructure delivery in Jakarta,” said Morgan Stanley in a note obtained by Bloomberg.
Improvement in Indonesia’s trade balance is critical for not only the country’s economy, but the aforementioned ETFs. What was once an advantage and a source of allure for foreign investors – the fact that close to 60% of Indonesian GDP is consumer-driven – had turned into a disadvantage as the rupiah was last year’s worst-performing emerging markets currency.