In another year of disappointment and volatility for emerging markets investors, there are some areas of slight encouragement. Year-to-date, the WisdomTree India Earnings Fund (NYSEArca: EPI) and the PowerShares India Portfolio (NYSEArca: PIN), two of the largest India ETFs, have not delivered jaw-dropping returns, but those funds have been better than many BRIC rivals and some well-known, diversified emerging markets ETFs as well.
Earlier this year, Indian stocks and ETFs were helped by a controversial update to India’s official GDP-estimation methodology, which could have bolstered recent readings by over two percentage points. Slack earnings and uncertainty regarding taxes on foreign investors are among the issues that have recently hindered Indian stocks. [Living Large With a Leveraged India ETF]
Last year, Indian equities and the aforementioned ETFs were buoyed by the landslide victory for Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi in the country’s national elections. In 2015, other factors are supporting India ETFs, including low oil prices (India is a net importer of crude) and accomodative monetary policy from the Reserve Bank of India.
“Many investors at the ETF event may have patted themselves on the back, since $4.7 billion has poured into India ETFs in the past two years. That’s helped to almost triple assets over that period, to $7.2 billion. While India ETFs rank 10th in single-country ETF assets, they rank second in inflows. Only flows into Japan ETFs top them, at $14.6 billion,” reports Eric Balchunas for Bloomberg.
The bottom line is that compared to other emerging markets ETFs, particularly the other members of the BRIC group, India funds have been decent-by-comparison this year and that strength could translate to some legitimate upside for patient investors.