Peru ETF Looks for Mexico-esque Energy Boost

Although none of its weight is allocated to the energy sector, the iShares MSCI Mexico Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EWW) has climbed 13.4% over the past six months in part because of Mexico’s plans to liberalize its energy sector.

Earlier this year, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signed legislation that ended the 75-year run of control over the country’s energy industry by state-owned oil company Pemex. Nieto’s energy reforms were announced last year as a way of stemming the tide of a decade’s worth of falling production by Pemex and as a way of attracting needed foreign investment to Mexico’s energy industry.

Now, some of the biggest names in the international oil business are eager to tap Mexico’s lush reserves. Global oil giants from Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM), the largest U.S. oil company, to Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS-A), Europe’s largest oil company, are eager to get to work in Mexico. [ETFs for Mexico’s New Oil Industry]

Peru could have similar designs, but how opening Peru’s energy industry affects the iShares MSCI All Peru Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EPU) remains to be seen.

“Peru looks to expand its gas output from its Camisea field moving forward, in addition to streamlining regulation as the nation struggles to fill the void in the decline of its national oil exploration and production,” according to Emerging Equity.

Like Mexico, Peru’s oil production has been declining and although Peru’s oil reserves are not as bountiful as Mexico’s, the latter is home to “the eighth largest crude oil reserve holder in Central and South America, with 633 million barrels of proved reserves, as of January 2014, according to Oil and Gas Journal.

And like EWW, EPU, the lone Peru ETF, has scant energy sector exposure. The Peru ETF allocates less than 1.5% of its weight to the energy sector. Peru is also lagging other South American rivals in bolstering its oil production.