What's Holding Back Singapore's ETF?

 |  About: iShares MSCI Singapore ETF (EWS)
by: Tom Lydon

Singapore is heavily dependent on exports to sustain recovery from its worst economic turn yet. But export numbers are still not up to par to bring the economy and its related ETF out of a slump.

Singapore’s exports dropped the least in 11 months in August with non-oil domestic exports dropping only 7.1% year-over-year, compared to 8.7% in July, reports Shamim Adam for Bloomberg. Non-electronic exports, including petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals, diminished 2.8% in August year-over-year, compared to 4.8% in July.

Increased demand for pharmaceuticals, especially on vaccinations for the H1N1 virus, and electronics has allowed companies to project higher sales.

Exports to the United States, the largest importer of Singapore’s goods, plummeted 21.4% year-over-year and exports to the European Union dived 26.7%, reports Se Young Lee for The Wall Street Journal. Shipments to China only dropped 5.3% in August year-over-year.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remains unchanged at 3.3%, writes Shamim Adam for Bloomberg. The government has engaged in handouts to companies to help with wage costs and to prevent job loss.

The National Trades Unions Congress expects joblessness to peak at 4.3% while the United Overseas Bank projects Singapore’s unemployment rate could reach 3.8% at the end of the year.

  • iShares MSCI Singapore Index (NYSEArca: EWS): up 50.3% year-to-date


Max Chen contributed to this article.