On the back of copper’s resurgence, the iShares MSCI Chile Capped ETF (NYSEArca: ECH), the lone ETF dedicated to tracking equities in the world’s largest copper-producing country, is the only of the major single-country ETFs tracking a Latin American economy that has traded higher this year.
With a loss of 4%, the Global X FTSE Colombia 20 ETF (NYSEArca: GXG) is the worst-performing Latin America single-country ETF this year. To be fair, GXG has rode oil’s rebound to a one-month gain of almost 14% and since mid-March, the Colombia ETF is up more than 20%. [Oil Crushed These Country ETFs]
Even with the recent bullishness, the outlook for GXG and Colombian stocks is far from sanguine. The American depositary receipts of Ecopetrol (NYSE: EC), Colombia’s state-run oil company and GXG’s second-largest holding at 8.8% of the ETF’s weight, have plunged 54% over the past year, but that tumble has not sent investors looking for a bargain.
“Ecopetrol SA shares have slumped 54 percent in dollar terms in the past year, the worst rout among producers in the BI Global Integrated Oils Valuation Peers Index even as it posted the highest trailing 12-month earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization margin at 33.5 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg,” reports Andrew Willis for Bloomberg.
Ecopetrol’s decline over the past year has been so severe that the stock has performed 2,100 basis points than Brazilian rival Petrobras (NYSE: PBR), a company ensconced in a corruption probe. That with Ecopetrol trading at less than 10 times forward earnings. By comparison, Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM), the largest U.S. oil company, trades at 17 times forward earnings. [Things are Getting for the Leveraged Brazil ETF]