AFK
VanEck Vectors Africa Index ETFNYSEARCA
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  • Sep. 18, 2015, 10:41 AM
    • The iShares MSCI Saudi Arabia Capped ETF (KSA) is the first ETF with significant exposure to that country - an impossibility until June when Saudi Arabia opened up (limited) direct foreign investment in its stock market.
    • The ETF will track the MSCI Saudi Arabia IMI 25/50 Index which holds about 50 large-, mid-, and small-cap stocks. Interestingly, the index has 30% allocated to both financials and materials, but just 1.4% to energy stocks - it makes sense considering the country's oil production is state-owned and not publicly traded.
    • The next step for Saudi Arabia could be inclusion in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index - a possibility as soon as June 2017, according to the WSJ.
    • Source: Bloomberg
    • MENA ETFs: AFK, EZA, EGPT, EIS, GULF, NGE, GAF, MES, ISRA, ISL, UAE, QAT
    | Sep. 18, 2015, 10:41 AM | 2 Comments
  • Oct. 9, 2014, 4:08 PM
    • A 40-subject clinical trial to evaluate an experimental Ebola vaccine commences in Mali. The vaccine, which uses an modified adenovirus vector, was developed by investigators at the Vaccine Research Center of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, MD. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK -2.1%) Biologicals is the manufacturer.
    • The trial began yesterday with the vaccination of the first subject, a Malian health care worker. Two more health care workers will be dosed today.
    • ETFs: AFK
    • ETFs: IBB, BIB, IRY, BIS, IXJ, DRGS
    | Oct. 9, 2014, 4:08 PM | 1 Comment
  • Oct. 8, 2014, 1:23 PM
    | Oct. 8, 2014, 1:23 PM | 9 Comments
  • Oct. 8, 2014, 7:19 AM
    • In an effort to assuage an anxious public, U.S. health officials will implement new Ebola screening procedures at airports. The initiative will go beyond the CDC's efforts to augment the screening of passengers leaving West African countries affected by the outbreak such as Liberia.
    • Passenger screening upon arrival in the U.S. could detect those who developed a fever during flight. This may create problems with border control officers and flight crews, however Since West African teams began screening passengers for fevers, 77 people out of 36,000 have been stopped from boarding flights. Of these, 74 had fever and 3 had other symptoms. Most turned out to have malaria. None had Ebola.
    • The new procedures will likely include more thorough pre-screening and more detailed questioning of passengers leaving Ebola hot spots such as Guinea and Sierra Leone.
    • ETFs: AFK
    • ETFs: IBB, BIB, IRY, BIS, IXJ, DRGS
    | Oct. 8, 2014, 7:19 AM | 1 Comment
  • Aug. 5, 2014, 7:11 AM
    • President Obama is expected to announce a $14B commitment by U.S. companies to invest in construction, clean energy, banking, and information technology projects across Africa.
    • "These investments will deepen U.S. economic engagement in Africa, fueling growth that will support broader African prosperity and emerging markets for US businesses, which will support jobs in both the United States and Africa," says a White House official.
    • The announcement will occur at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum today, part of a three-day Africa summit in Washington.
    • ETFs: AFK, EZA
    | Aug. 5, 2014, 7:11 AM
  • Aug. 4, 2014, 7:02 AM
    • General Electric (NYSE:GE) has announced that it will invest approximately $2B in African nations by 2018 and regards the continent as its most promising growth region.
    • "We remain a committed partner to Africa’s sustainable growth," says CEO Jeff Immelt.
    • The funds will be spent building new infrastructure projects, training local workers and improving regional supply chains.
    • GE is increasing spending as the U.S. is shifting from supplying aid towards investing in Africa amid the start of a U.S.-Africa Leadership Summit in Washington D.C. starting today.
    • ETFs: AFK
    | Aug. 4, 2014, 7:02 AM | 3 Comments
  • Jan. 15, 2014, 12:35 PM
    • You could have made the same bear case against emerging markets 10 years ago and you would have missed a decade of outperformance, says Everest Capital chief Marko Dimitrijevic, rebutting Goldman's recommendation to cut holdings in the sector. "If you reduce or ignore emerging markets, you're going to miss on literally hundreds of companies that are great."
    • Overall, Dimitrijevic overall return estimates are just slightly higher than Goldman's, but the real alpha is to be made in specific sectors - education in Brazil, infrastructure in Mexico, retail, cement, oil and gas in Colombia, and consumer plays in Saudi Arabia.
    • Everest is most bullish on frontier markets, or, as Dimitrijevic calls them, "EM 2.0." "It's a secular opportunity that reminds us very much of what now-mainstream emerging markets were like 15 or 20 years ago."
    • Everest had a big year in 2013, gaining 41.2%. Its dedicated Frontier fund rose 28.8%.
    • Emerging market ETFs: EEM, VWO, DEM, EDC, DGS, EDZ, EEMV, EEB, SCHE, EDIV, IEMG, DVYE, BIK, EWX, EEV, BKF, PIE, CEW, ADRE, HILO, EUM, FNI, EET, GMM, PXH, EEMS, BBRC, EELV, FEMS, EEME, EMDD, BICK, EMCR, DBEM, FEM, EWEM, JEM, EVAL, EMLB, EMBB, EEHB, EGRW, TLTE, FNDE, EMSA, EMHD, EMDR, EMFT
    • Frontier/MENA ETFs: FM, FRN, EMFM, AFK, GULF, GAF, MES, PMNA
    | Jan. 15, 2014, 12:35 PM
  • May 29, 2013, 12:54 PM

    Datatec (DTTLF.PK), the South African computer-networking firm which primarily installs Cisco (CSCO) products, is "a pure rand hedge" for South African rand investors, according to CEO Jens Montanana. The company's share price rise is correlating .85 (1.0 would be perfect) to the fall of the rand vs. the U.S. dollar. Montanana says the company is beginning to consider U.S. acquisitions. Related ETFs: AFK, CEW.

    | May 29, 2013, 12:54 PM
  • Apr. 22, 2013, 2:26 PM

    Van Eck plans to swap out the underlying indexes for the Market Vectors Africa ETF (AFK) and the Market Vectors Gulf States ETF (MES) for ones of its own creation. The move is part of an increasing trend of self-indexing as ETF providers try to save money on licensing fees.

    | Apr. 22, 2013, 2:26 PM
  • Apr. 11, 2012, 12:53 PM
    Investing in frontier markets is about to get a bit easier as MSCI launches its Frontier Markets 100 index with BlackRock set to launch an ETF to track it. The index has 100 companies across 21 countries,  and with 60% of the value coming from the Middle East.
    | Apr. 11, 2012, 12:53 PM
  • Nov. 28, 2011, 12:46 PM

    While competitors are cutting back, Goldman Sachs (GS) is broadening its MENA equity research, initiating coverage on 80 new stocks, bringing the total to 121. Goldman's key theme is rising oil prices and the bank is looking at not only resource firms, but other beneficiaries like infrastructure and consumer spending.

    | Nov. 28, 2011, 12:46 PM
  • Oct. 5, 2011, 2:34 PM

    Filed under inflation isn't dead everywhere: Savers who gripe about near-0% interest rates should remember that real interest rates (accounting for CPI) in the U.S. aren't nearly as bad as some parts of the world. Case in point: The Central Bank of Kenya upped its benchmark rate from 7% to 11% (.pdf), while the Bank of Uganda hiked rates to 20% from 16% (.pdf)  - both due to a runaway inflation.

    | Oct. 5, 2011, 2:34 PM | 1 Comment
  • May 27, 2011, 11:36 AM
    Turnout for today's rally against Yemen's government is less than had been expected as citizens are either fleeing Sanaa or worried about getting killed in what is looking increasingly like a civil war. Already somewhat a safe haven for al Qaeda, a failed Yemeni state could seriously erode ME security.
    | May 27, 2011, 11:36 AM | 1 Comment
  • Apr. 19, 2011, 4:37 PM
    The governing committee in Misrata confirms it has made an official request for foreign troops on the ground to stop Gaddafi forces from killing civilians. NATO and the U.N. have yet to respond. The U.K. is sending military advisers into Libya, but on an unrelated mission.
    | Apr. 19, 2011, 4:37 PM | 2 Comments
  • Apr. 19, 2011, 9:59 AM

    Following weeks of protests, Syria lifts its emergency law. The law, in place for nearly 5 decades, effectively suspended constitutional protections for citizens.

    | Apr. 19, 2011, 9:59 AM | 4 Comments
  • Apr. 19, 2011, 8:58 AM

    The protests and security force crackdowns continue in Syria, where 20K in Hams were fired at during an overnight sit-in. A government statement saying the demonstrations are the work of Salafist organizations, i.e. al-Qaeda, seemingly gives the green light for an even bloodier crackdown.

    | Apr. 19, 2011, 8:58 AM | 1 Comment
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