It would be logical to assume that with Greek equity markets still closed and banks there maintaining a 60-euro withdrawal limit that investors would be rushing for the exits on the Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (NYSEArca: GREK) and maybe some of the other exchange traded funds tracking PIIGS nations.
Actually, the opposite is true. GREK, the lone U.S.-listed Greece ETF, is off 12.4% since June 22 and 8.7% this week. On Monday, GREK plunged almost 9% on over four times its average daily volume after Greece rejected austerity measures demanded by international creditors in a referendum vote over the weekend. The Greece ETF has been swinging in volatile trading over the past week. [Greek Drama Extends as Greece ETF Flirts With new Lows]
But since June 22, investors have poured almost $40.5 million into the Greece ETF. That is 13.5% of the ETF’s current assets under management total of $299 million as of July 7. For nearly two weeks, GREK has been the only game in town for Greek stock as the Athens Stock Exchange has been closed and European ETF giant Lyxor was forced to close a Germany-listed Greece ETF.
Trading in Greece has been suspended since June 29, though there is a chance banks and equity markets there will reopen on Thursday.
Greece’s woes have yet to prompt large-scale departures from the other major PIIGS ETFs. Since Greek markets were shuddered on June 29, no money has been added to or pulled from the iShares MSCI Spain Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EWP) and the Global X FTSE Portugal 20 ETF (NYSEArca: PGAL). Market observers could argue that is a curious phenomenon because Spain and Portugal are widely cited as the next Europe dominoes to fall if the worst-case scenario comes to pass for Greece.