Pleasant Portuguese Stocks Push ETF Higher

There are reasons to be optimistic about PGAL. Earlier this year, Portugal was able to successfully auction government bonds and the country is aiming to leave its massive bailout program later in the year. Portugal’ central bank is also forecasting modest GDP growth.

PGAL allocates 26.1% of its weight to utilities and a combined 30% to financial services and energy names. The potential headwind for the fund comes in the form of an almost 23% weight to consumer services stocks. Put simply, Portuguese consumers are dealing with heavy debt burdens. “The Portuguese central bank estimates non-financial private-sector debt at 284 percent of GDP in September 2013,” according to CNBC.

Still, PGAL is up 5.4% to start the new year, a performance that puts the ETF well ahead of its French, German and Swiss equivalents.

Global X FTSE Portugal 20 ETF