There are nearly 10 dedicated infrastructure exchange traded funds on the market today, almost all of which are global or international funds. However, just one offers investors protection from the scourge of currency volatility: The new Deutsche X-trackers S&P Hedged Global Infrastructure ETF (NYSEArca: DBIF).
The Deutsche X-trackers S&P Hedged Global Infrastructure ETF, which is about two months old, holds 76 stocks and allocates over two-thirds of its combined weight to the utilities and industrial sectors. U.S. stocks represent nearly 35.6% of the new ETF’s weight, but all of the fund’s short currency positions are in foreign currencies, including the euro, yen and the dollars of Australia and Canada, according to issuer data.
The reasons for considering infrastructure ETFs have been widely documented over the years. Namely, it is all about government spending. It is well-known that the U.S. has decrepit infrastructure, China has been a profligate infrastructure and, from there, the situation is mixed throughout the world.
“We believe that investors should consider hedging the currency exposure of an investment in global infrastructure securities, as foreign exchange movements can have a meaningful impact on the risk and return of this investment theme. Over the past five years, leaving currency exposure unhedged meaningfully increased the volatility of an investment in global listed infrastructure, undermining the defensive attributes of the asset class. The ongoing broad-based strength of the U.S. dollar could also pose a headwind to unhedged investment returns,” according to new research from Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management (Deutsche AWM).
The International Monetary Fund is urging countries, notably rich economies, to support demand and investment through infrastructure development. Additionally, the Fund is also advising emerging markets to lift infrastructure spending as well. [Infrastructure ETFs in Focus]
As seasoned infrastructure investors know, there is income opportunity with this investment theme. DBIF’s underlying index, the S&P Global Infrastructure Total Return Net Index, had a dividend yield of 3.56% at the end of February, according to issuer data.