There are six single-country exchange traded funds offering investors exposure to South American economies. Five of those ETFs have traded higher this year, some in noteworthy fashion.
The iShares MSCI Chile Capped ETF (NYSEArca: ECH) is the lagging outlier with a year-to-date loss of almost 7%. Despite the central bank cutting rates to foster growth, Chile’s economy, once seen as a durable stalwart in a region of volatile economies, is flailing. However, there could be value in Chilean stocks and ECH thanks to ongoing efforts to promote Chile’s local asset management industry. [Chile ETF Falters as GDP Growth Slumps]
A new law, “known as the Ley Unica de Fondos (LUF), was passed in November 2013. The law simplifies the regulatory framework by providing operational efficiencies for asset managers and adds increased regulatory oversight which thus provides further investor protection and protects market integrity,” Emerging Equity reported, citing Fitch Ratings.
The new law could prompt changes in a complex tax code while providing opportunities for cross market expansion with other South American capital markets, according to Fitch. Chile currently has a cross market program with Colombia and Peru known as the Mila Exchange. Investors can access that theme via the Global X FTSE Andean 40 ETF (NYSEArca: AND), which holds only Chilean, Colombian and Peruvian stocks. [Chile a Decent Emerging Markets Idea]
“These new changes are likely to drive a higher demand from global investors for Chilean assets which will thus provide a new funding source for the domestic capital market and domestic companies looking to raise capital,” according to Emerging Equity.