Rebounding equities throughout the developing world are spurring investors to rush into the exchange traded funds that hold those stocks. Investors are also paying up for the privilege.
The Vanguard Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: VWO), the largest emerging markets ETF by assets, now trades at a 0.2% premium to the value of its underlying holdings good for the ETF’s widest gap in two years, report Boris Korby and Edith Waringa Kamau for Bloomberg.
Last year, five emerging markets ETFs, including VWO and the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: EEM), ranked among the 10 worst ETFs for annual outflows. The other three offenders were the iShares J.P. Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF (NYSEArca: EMB), iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EWZ) and the iShares China Large-Cap ETF (NYSEArca: FXI).
The trend of outflows from emerging markets ETFs has reversed in the quarter with no ETF taking more than the $5.9 billion gained by EEM, the second-largest emerging markets ETF. VWO has pulled in more than $1.3 billion since the start of April. [ETF Flows Firm in Q2]
Second-quarter flows to single-country funds have been robust with India playing a leadership role. Following the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, global investors have poured into stocks in Asia’s third-largest economies and India ETFs have benefited. [Room to Run for India ETFs]
Since the start of the second quarter, the WisdomTree India Earnings Fund (NYSEArca: EPI) leads the four major BRIC single-country ETFs with inflows of almost $494 million. Although Indian stocks have seen profit-taking in recent weeks, EPI is up 16% this quarter, more than triple the gains posted by VWO.
Even with rallying shares from Brazil to India to Russia, emerging markets equities are still inexpensive relative to this historical averages. “The MSCI Emerging Markets Index trades at 11 times estimated earnings for the next 12 months, compared with 15.1 for the MSCI World Index. The discount is close to the widest in at least seven years,” according to Bloomberg.