As Turkey Tumbles, This Emerging Market ETF Lures Investors

On heavy volume, the iShares MSCI Turkey ETF (NasdaqGM: TUR) sank nearly 11% Monday, extending a slide that is sending shockwaves throughout the emerging markets space while taking TUR to a new 52-week low.

While Turkey’s economic crisis, one that has seen its lira slide to record lows against the dollar, has investors pensive about emerging markets equities, one emerging markets single-country exchange traded fund is still luring investors. That fund is the iShares MSCI Malaysia ETF (NYSEArca: EWM).

“The Southeast Asian nation’s stock market surged into overbought territory last week and the sole U.S.-listed exchange-traded fund tracking the measure attracted the most cash since 2011. The rally came as investors in developing-nation assets fretted over whether Turkey’s plunging currency would spark a selloff in other countries,” according to Bloomberg.

Problems In Turkey; Malaysia Decent By Comparison

In addition to bonds, the economic issues in Turkey and the geopolitical tensions with the United States also gave the Turkish lira no reprieve, hitting an all-time low of 7.24 against the U.S. dollar. In an effort to prop up the currency, the Turkish central bank lowered the reserve requirement for banks by 250 basis points to improve liquidity conditions.

Investors may be embracing EWM as a low volatility way to wait out the Turkish turmoil. EWM has a three-year standard deviation of 17.16%, more than 900 basis points below the comparable metric on the aforementioned TUR.