Exchange traded funds tracking Russian equities have predictably slumped in the aftermath of news that pro-Russian separatists are believed to be the culprits behind the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 that killed nearly 300 innocent people.
Over the past five trading days, the Market Vectors Russia ETF (NYSEArca: RSX), largest Russia ETF, is down 7%, but investors have not been scampering for the exits. At least not yet and not for noteworthy size.
Last week, RSX lost $22.5 million while the iShares MSCI Russia Capped ETF (NSYEArca: ERUS) saw withdrawals of $10.2 million. No capital was pulled from the SPDR S&P Russia ETF (NYSEArca: RBL). However, those modest outflows are a contrast to the surprising inflows to RSX seen in early March when Russia invaded Ukraine. From March 3 through March 8, investors poured $195.5 million into RSX. [Russia ETFs Fall After Ukraine Invasion]
Renewed geopolitical tension in Eastern Europe could have a different effect on Russia ETFs this time around. The West is promising expanded economic sanctions against Russia U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has overtly accused Vladimir Putin’s government of support the separatists behind the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, indicating that tensions in Eastern Europe could remain elevated in the near-term. [Gold Gains on Geopolitical Tensions]
“Russia’s relations with the rest of the world are deteriorating four months after his annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region sparked Europe’s biggest geopolitical crisis since the end of the Cold War,” report Volodymyr Verbyany, Ilya Arkhipov and Aliaksandr Kudrytski for Bloomberg.