A Look at Four Frontier Market ETFs

Earlier this year I wrote an article on Frontier Markets titled Explore some Frontier Markets !!!!!. In the ETF world, a few ETFs were launched this year specifically for frontier markets.In this post lets look at four of them.

Photo: Beach at Agadir, Morocco

1. PowerShares MENA Frontier Countries (PMNA)

Launched on July 9th of this year, this ETF covered the Middle East or North African countries. Some of the countries this fund invests in are Egypt, Morocco, Oman, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and United Arab Emirates.

Since the launch the fund is down 39.67%. Thats just over 4 months. The fund has an expense ratio of 0.95% and assets of about $19M.

2. Market Vectors Africa ETF (AFK)

Launched in July, this fund tracks the Dow Jones Africa Titans 50 Index. AFK provides exposure to countries like Egypt, Morocco,South Africa,Nigeria,etc.

The expense ratio is 0.98% and the fund is down 43.96% year-to-date.

3.Market Vectors Gulf States ETF (MES)

MES tracks the Dow Jones GCC Titans 40 Index which includes stocks from the GCC countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

The expense ratio is 0.98% and the fund is down 42.71% year-to-date.

4. Claymore/BNY Mellon Frontier Markets (FRN)

FRN tries to mimic the performance of The Bank of New York Mellon New Frontier DR Index. The expense ratio is 0.65% and the fund’s inception date is June 12,2008.

As we can see in the above performance numbers these ETFs are not for the faint-hearted. The frontier market countries are much worse than the emerging markets of say Brazil or India. These ETFs are extremely risky and may fall even more by the end of this year.

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