Despite the huge October rally, investors yanked half a billion dollars out of Germany country-specific exchange traded funds.
Over the past month, the iShares MSCI Germany ETF (NYSEArca: EWG) rose 9.6% and iShares Currency Hedged MSCI Germany ETF (NYSEArca: HEWG) gained 11.0%. EWG tries to reflect the performance of the MSCI Germany Index, and HEWG tracks the same index except it hedges against a depreciating euro currency.
However, the strong performance was not enough to saw investors as EWG saw $354 million in net outflows and HEWG lost $191 million, reports Eric Balchunas for Bloomberg.
Germany ETFs suffered $600 million in outflows over October, or four times more than any other country-specific ETFs.
Balchunas argues that the Volkswagen emissions scandal in September may have contributed to the outflows. The iShares Germany ETFs include a 15% tilt toward auto manufacturers, including 1.7% Volkswagen, 7.3% Daimler and 3.0% BMW. [Bug In The Ointment: VW’s Deception Stalls Car ETF]
Additionally, some investors may be deterred by the ongoing flood of Syrian refugees entering Germany. While observers previously argued that the influx of refugees may help reverse Germany’s aging demographics, augment the country’s dwindling labor pool and stimulate infrastructure spending, Centre for European Economic Research President Clemens Fuest argues that Germany will have to pay a high cost and see little return on investment.
“I am convinced that it is morally right to welcome people into our country who are fleeing war and political persecution,” Fuest said. “But this isn’t a process that will be of economic benefit to Germany.”