The Philippines exchange traded fund is one of the best performing emerging Asia market this year as the local economy flourishes and export activity picks up.
The iShares MSCI Philippines ETF (NYSEArca: EPHE) has gained 24.6% year-to-date, while the broader iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: EEM) is up 9.9% so far this year. [Time to Reconsider Emerging Markets ETFs, Says BlackRock]
The Philippine economy expanded 6.4% in the second quarter year-over-year, strengthening on increased spending on infrastructure, higher remittance from overseas workers and greater local consumption, which accounts for just under two-thirds of the economy, reports Chris Larano for the Wall Street Journal.
“The economy is really driven from within,” Luz Lorenzo, economist and market strategist at Maybank ATR-Kim Eng Securities, said in the article.
The consumer staples sector makes up 7.1% of EPHE’s underlying portfolio while consumer discretionary accounts for 5.2%.
Moreover, export growth has also strengthened the markets. The country has developed a competitive manufacturing industry and will continue benefit as low-end manufacturers leave China due to higher wages. Specifically, manufacturing increased 10.8% for the second quarter year-over-year.
Consequently, Credit Suisse projects the economy to grow at a healthy pace over the next few quarters on the improved outlook for the manufacturing and export industries.