Investors Take Second Look At Pummeled Emerging Market ETFs

 |  Includes: EEM, EIDO, EPI, EWW, EWZ, IEMG, RSX, VWO
by: Tom Lydon

Investors have been put off from emerging market exchange traded funds after the recent dip. However, large money managers are coming back, pointing to excessive declines as a good buying opportunity.

The recent sell-off "is very much of a psychological thing that will pass once people come to their senses," Mark Mobius, executive chairman of Franklin Templeton Investments Emerging Markets Group, said in a Wall Street Journal article. "Our strategy is to take advantage of any downturns."

Mobius has increased his position in Russia and Mexico stocks. Investors can play the two countries through ETFs like the Market Vectors Russia ETF (NYSEARCA:RSX) and iShares MSCI Mexico Capped ETF (NYSEARCA:EWW).

At Pacific Investment Management, Michael Gomez is allocating toward Brazil. Goldman Sachs Asset Management, emerging-market debt portfolio manager Yacov Arnopolin, is also buying Brazilian real and Mexican pesos.

Devan Kaloo, head of global emerging-market equities at Aberdeen Asset Management PLC, took on positions in India, Indonesia, Brazil and other markets after they saw large declines. Related ETF plays include WisdomTree India Earnings ETF (NYSEARCA:EPI), iShares MSCI Indonesia ETF (NYSEARCA:EIDO) and iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (NYSEARCA:EWZ).

According to MSCI, emerging market equities decreased about 10.2% year-to-date. J.P. Morgan Chase calculates that dollar-denominated government bonds have declined 9.6%. EPFR Global data reveals that emerging market debt funds have witnessed asset outflows over the past 15 consecutive weeks.

"The thing that surprised us a little bit was this narrative that [emerging markets are] facing this impending crisis," Gomez said in the WSJ article. "There are some very big differences in emerging markets today than there were in crises of the past."

Emerging market assets are rebounding after an unexpectedly weak jobs number, which prompted speculation that the Fed would hold off on tapering. Moreover, many investors are jumping back in as a way to play the long-term outperformance trend in the emerging markets.

The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEARCA:EEM) is on an eight-day rally, its longest back-to-back daily gains in six years, Bloomberg reports. The emerging markets are being supported by better-than-expected Chinese export data.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

Full disclosure: Tom Lydon's clients own EEM.

Disclosure: I am long EEM. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.