Global infrastructure exchange traded funds could help investors capture international growth opportunities with an income-generating kicker, but people may have to stomach some short-term volatility.
For instance, the iShares Global Infrastructure ETF (NYSEArca: IGF) provides a broad, diversified way to access international infrastructure companies. IGF has a 0.47% expense ratio. The ETF has declined 7.4% over the past month but it is still up 5.4% year-to-date. [BlackRock: Why Infrastructure Could Be the Next Big Investment Opportunity]
“While we believe that the longer-term story of growth in global infrastructure remains intact, short-term hiccups for infrastructure firms in certain parts of the world can offer investors possible opportunities in an asset class that has solid growth potential and income-generating abilities,” according to Morningstar analyst Robert Goldsborough.
The infrastructure space includes companies engaged in managing or constructing toll roads, ports, railroads, water and wastewater systems, and power generation and distribution plants. IGF’s sub-sector allocations include utilities 41.0%, industrials 40.1% and energy 18.5%.
Spending in the sector depends on country’s economic growth and government spending levels. In the emerging markets, local economic growth is a major factor in supporting infrastructure spending. In contrast, rising debt levels among developed countries could constrain spending.
IGF has a large 33.1% position in U.S. stocks, along with international exposure, including Canada 8.8%, Australia 8.3%, U.K. 7.4%, Italy 6.9%, France 6.7%, Spain 5.6%, China 5.0%, Germany 4.3%, Japan 3.6%, Singapore 2.8% and Mexico 2.2%.
Due to the infrastructure sector’s significant exposure to stable, yield-generating areas, like utilities and master limited partnerships, IGF also comes with a 3.4% dividend yield.