Ever since speculation about when the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates ramped up, global investors have been quick to identify countries that are vulnerable to a more hawkish Fed.
Emerging markets have been victimized by the specter of higher U.S. borrowing costs, but not all international markets and the corresponding exchange traded funds are afraid of the Fed raising rates. In fact, at least one well-known European investment destination is eager to see higher interest rates in the U.S.: Switzerland.
Switzerland, a nation with a reputation for autonomy and often docile financial markets, roiled global markets earlier this year when the Swiss National Bank scrapped the franc’s euro peg.
Despite the currency headwinds against the euro, Switzerland has been able to skirt a recession and the iShares MSCI Switzerland Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EWL) has been one of the steadier performers among single-country developed Europe ETFs. [Be Careful With Switzerland ETFs]
However, Switzerland is desperate to see the Fed normalize its interest rate policy. In fact, a UBS economist told the Financial Times that the Swiss National Bank, the Fed’s Swiss counterpart, prays every night that the Fed will hurry up and boost rates.
“Although Swiss shares remain compositely undervalued on a relative basis compared with their benchmark (S&P Europe 350 index), their premium in absolute terms to nearly all their competitors in Western Europe – together with dormant economic prospects amid hastening deflation – discourages Global Markets Intelligence (GMI) from assessing anything more than a market-weight for the SMI,” according to S&P Capital IQ.