By Tim Seymour
Despite the small recovery in emerging markets in the last week, flows are trading hard -- especially the whimsical ETF flows. ETFs (aka the marginal buyer) have averaged -$1.1 billion on average the last four weeks. It's interesting that the crowded trades continue to stay crowded, such as Philippines (NYSEARCA:EPHE), Indonesia (NYSEARCA:EIDO), and even South Africa (NYSEARCA:EZA), which is a surprise and a little scary considering how hard they have traded gold miners and the retail sector.
Outflows for all regional funds: Total GEM (global emerging market) funds saw strong outflows of just over $2.0 billion last week, compared to outflows of $1.0 billion in the prior week. All regions recorded net outflows last week. On a four-week moving average basis, we have seen outflows of $0.3 billion each from dedicated GEM, EMEA, and Asia ex-Japan, as well as inflows of approximately $20 million into Latin America.
Non-ETF funds in net redemption after six months of inflows: ETF funds saw outflows of approximately $1.4 billion last week, compared to outflows of $0.7 billion for non-ETF funds. On a four-week moving average basis, ETF funds have seen outflows of $1.1 billion vs. inflows of $0.3 billion for non-ETF funds. Year to date, non-ETFs represent 63% of the total fund pool.
Country positioning scorecard: Investors continue to reduce their exposure across the board except in Philippines and Indonesia. Toward the bottom of the table, where positioning is the least crowded, Russia moved down below India. The most crowded countries are the Philippines, Colombia, Thailand, South Africa, and Korea. The least crowded are CE3, Morocco, Russia (NYSEARCA:RSX), and India (NYSEARCA:EPI).
Net inflows year to date: Total GEM funds have benefited from $24.6 billion of inflows this year compared to $51.3 billion of inflows in 2012. On a cumulative basis, $214 billion has flowed into GEM funds since January 2006.