We have seen renewed interest in the Brazilian equity market at least via key benchmark ETF EWZ (iShares MSCI Brazil, Expense Ratio 0.61%) lately, with more than $130 million entering the fund in recent sessions as well as activity in upside October 56 calls.
Interestingly, year to date EWZ has only attracted about $113 million net, so it shows that without the recent round of creations, the fund would actually have net lost assets year to date even in spite of recent promising performance (EWZ today trading at a $52 handle for the first time since last summer).
EWZ has been around for more than fourteen years now as a live traded ETF vehicle, and has about $5.1 billion in assets under management. What is most surprising about the Brazil equity segment, is that there is a bevy of offerings in the space, but none of the funds outside of EWZ are large in terms of assets under management, and most are barely recognizable we feel to institutional managers and moreover retail investors that might otherwise be interested in investing in the space.
Case in point is the second largest fund in the Brazil equity space is BRF (Market Vectors Brazil Small Cap, Expense Ratio 0.60%) only has about $144 million in assets under management while iShares version of the Small Cap Brazilian market, EWZS (iShares MSCI Brazil Small Cap, Expense Ratio 0.62%) has gathered less, about $38 million in AUM.
To be fair, large cap Brazilian stocks have crushed their small cap peers year to date as well as in the trailing one year period so perhaps momentum players have stuck only with the Large Cap segment up until this point. BRXX (EGShares Brazil Infrastructure, Expense Ratio 0.85%) remains somewhat popular, with about $30 million in AUM and averaging about 37,000 shares traded daily.
BRZU (Direxion Daily Brazil Bull 3X Shares, Expense Ratio 0.95%) has become more well-known across trading desks and ETF strategists, largely because of the strong bull run in the underlying index, as we see this fund now averaging more than 45,000 shares traded daily (including a notable spike recently), although this is a number that can be exponentially improved on given what we see as the interest in trading EWZ itself that is present in the market on a daily basis (averages 15.2 million shares traded daily).