ETF Trends
ETF Trends

Already one of the third quarter’s best-performing non-leveraged exchange traded funds with a gain of 15.3%, the iShares MSCI Qatar Capped ETF (NasdaqGM: QAT) could see further upside due to how index provider MSCI (NYSE: MSCI) calculates the country weight in the widely followed MSCI Emerging Markets Index.

Qatar recently changed the way it calculates foreign ownership limits to a proportion of total share capital from free float capitalization, prompting MSCI to increase the emerging markets index’s exposure to some Doha-listed companies, reports Nikhil Lohade for the Wall Street Journal.

Egyptian investment bank EFG Hermes said the change in Qatar’s foreign ownership calculation could boost the country’s weight in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index to 0.59% from 0.47% and trigger another $100 million of foreign investment into the country’s equity market, according to the Journal. The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: EEM), the second-largest emerging markets ETF by assets, tracks the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.

Qatar and the United Arab Emirates became the first Middle East countries to earn an emerging markets promotion from MSCI. The two nations had previously been classified as frontier markets. In late May, the two countries were added to EEM and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index while the continues to gradually reduce exposure to the pair. [Frontier Changes Could Produce a Better ETF]

Just ahead of it joining the emerging markets index, Qatar announced a foreign ownership limit increase in late May. “The Ministry of Economy and Commerce and the Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA) will immediately take the necessary measures to put these directives into effect,” according to the Qatar News Agency. [Qatar ETF Jumps on Foreign Ownership Increase]

“And EFG expects Qatar’s weight to increase to 0.8% in the EM index, triggering additional passive inflows of $185 million, after MSCI’s semi-annual index review in November,” the Journal reported.

QAT debuted in late April and currently has nearly $38 million in assets under management. The ETF holds 27 stocks and charges 0.62% per year.

iShares MSCI Qatar Capped ETF

Chart Courtesy: iShares

ETF Trends editorial team contributed to this post. Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of EEM.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.