Data indicate investors are returning to emerging markets exchange traded funds and that includes once controversial single-country funds in addition to diversified plays such as the Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: VWO) and the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: EEM).
Investors added a net $1.6 billion into ETFs focused on emerging-market equities and bonds in the five days through March 28,” report Ye Xie and Julia Leite for Bloomberg. While the overall numbers for March show outflows for several well-known emerging markets ETFs, investors did pour cash into funds such as the iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EWZ) late last month. [Investors Inch Back Into Emerging Markets ETFs]
But even as Russian stocks firm in the face of the Ukraine crisis and Brazilian and Indian equities boost BRIC ETFs, investors remain reluctant to get involved with some of the largest China ETFs. [Brazil, India Lift BRIC ETFs]
China is the only BRIC nation to see ETF outflows over the past two weeks. “Investors withdrew a net $42 million from ETFs focused on Chinese equities and bonds since the MSCI Emerging Markets Index began rallying on March 20,” report Ye Xie and Alexandria Baca for Bloomberg.
Since March 17, the SPDR S&P China ETF (NYSEArca: GXC) is the only one of the five largest China ETFs by assets to see inflows. Outflows from the Powershares Golden Dragon Halter USX China Portfolio (NYSEArca: PGJ) and the Guggenheim China Small Cap ETF (NYSEArca: HAO) total just $4 million over that time. However, the iShares China Large-Cap ETF (NYSEArca: FXI) has lost more than $204 million since mid-March.[Investors Depart China ETFs]
FXI and EWZ, the largest Brazil ETF, were both among the 10 worst ETFs in terms of outflows last year, but is crucial to remember that ETF flows are not always predictors of value. Rather, flows data can be indicative of performance chasing.