Global X, the New York-based ETF issuer behind some of the most successful new ETFs of the last several years, has laid the groundwork to significantly expand its existing lineup. In a recent SEC filing, the New York-based firm shed some light on plans for 22 country-specific and region-specific international equity ETFs, including funds targeting Greece, Portugal, Bangladesh, and Kazakhstan.
The filing included 14 country specific funds, none of which are currently available through existing ETFs [see the ETF Country Exposure Tool to find ETFs with exposure to any market]. Seven of the proposed products will target countries in Europe while the rest will target the broad Middle East, Africa, and Near East region. These proposed funds include [click on any of the country names to see all existing ETFs offering partial exposure to that economy]:
- FTSE Portugal 20 ETF: This fund would track the FTSE Portugal 20 Index, which consists of the 20 largest stocks that trade on the Lisbon stock exchange. The index has been beaten down as of late thanks to sovereign debt worries in the country but could make for an interesting pick for traders seeking a volatile market.
- Kuwait ETF: This fund would replicate the Solactive Kuwait Index, a benchmark that consists of companies that are based in or do a great deal of business in the small Gulf country. This fund could be interesting for those seeking further exposure to the region and are looking for an oil and gas rich nation as well.
- Nigeria ETF: This proposed product would give investors exposure to the Solactive Nigeria Index, which consists of a group of companies that do a large percentage of their business in the African country. Although the nation suffers from heavy corruption and internal strife, the promise of Nigeria is immense thanks to a favorable demographic picture and an abundance of natural resources including oil [ETFs For The Next Eleven Economies].
- FTSE Bangladesh ETF: This fund would invest in the largest companies in Bangladesh by following the FTSE Bangladesh Index.
- FTSE Sri Lanka ETF: Another South Asia ETF, this fund would track the FTSE Sri Lanka Index, offering exposure to some of the largest companies based in the country. Much like Bangladesh, this product could be intriguing for those looking for more South Asia exposure.
- Kazakhstan ETF: This proposed fund would track the Solactive Kazakhstan Index, giving investors exposure to the massive Central Asian nation. This product could be interesting for those seeking more exposure to international oil producing countries outside of Russia and the Middle East.
- FTSE Ukraine ETF: This product would seek to replicate the FTSE Ukraine Index, which offers exposure to the stock market of one of the largest and most populous countries in Europe. Although the nation is suffering from a long bout with inflation, the Ukraine remains rich in natural resources and could be an interesting choice for investors looking for Eastern European exposure outside of Russia.
- FTSE Greece 20 ETF: This ETF would track the FTSE Greece 20 Index, tracking some of the largest companies that trade on the country’s main stock exchange in Athens. Much like the proposed Portugal fund, this product could see high levels of trading volume thanks to the ongoing crisis plaguing the nation’s finances.
- Hungary ETF: This proposed product seeks to follow the Solactive Hungary Index, offering exposure to firms that are economically tied to the fortunes of the Hungarian economy. The fund could be interesting for those seeking a developing market in central Europe beyond Poland [see Hungary Exposure Weighs On Eastern Europe ETFs].
- Luxembourg ETF: This ETF seeks to follow the Solactive Luxembourg Index, offering investors exposure to one of the richest nations in the world. However, it will be interesting to see the index composition as many firms do business in the country but very few exclusively have operations in the tiny landlocked nation.
- FTSE Morocco 20 ETF: This fund looks to track the FTSE Morocco 20 Index, a benchmark that looks to give investors exposure to an interesting North African market. Since Morocco makes up such a small percentage of many emerging market funds, this product could help investors to potentially diversify emerging market exposure.
- Czech Republic ETF: This proposed fund looks to track the Solactive Czech Republic Index which gives investors exposure to some of the largest companies that have economic operations focused on the country. The Czech Republic could be another option for investors seeking European exposure outside of the euro zone, or for those seeking more choices in the emerging central and eastern Europe region.
- Slovakia ETF: This fund looks to give investors exposure to the Solactive Slovakia Index which is a benchmark of companies that do a great deal of their business in Slovakia. Although the country is on the euro, it could be another choice for those seeking nations with a low debt load in the area.
- Qatar ETF: This product tracks the Solactive Qatar Index which looks to give investors exposure to companies that have their main business operations in Qatar. The country could be an interesting choice for those looking for exposure to the Middle East through one of the richest and most gas-rich states in the Gulf [also see Middle East Investing: Two Good Options].
In addition to these country specific products, Global X also announced plans for eight regional ETFs including:
- FTSE Frontier Markets ETF: This fund looks to give investors exposure to the FTSE Frontier Markets Index, potentially setting up the product against a number of other frontier-focused funds that are already on the market today. The product looks to consist of 25 frontier countries including ones from Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia.
- Central America ETF: This product seeks to offer investors exposure to the Solactive Central America Index, offering a new way to access Latin America. Although details weren’t released on the index components, investors should note that of Central American countries Guatemala, and Costa Rica are the two largest economies in the region [Regional ETFs: Not Always As Regional As They Sound].
- Central and Northern Europe ETF: This product looks to track the Solactive Central and Northern Europe Index which looks to offer investors broad exposure to one of the more dynamic regions of Europe. The fund looks to include exposure to the following nations; Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
- Southern Europe ETF: This fund looks to give investors exposure to the Solactive Southern Europe Index, potentially offering yet another way to slice up the European market. The fund looks to offer exposure to four of the PIIGS economies including; Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece.
- Eastern Europe ETF: This product looks to offer investors exposure to the Solactive Eastern Europe Index, giving investors broad exposure to a group of nations that are outside the euro zone and generally are exporters of major commodities.
- Central Asia ETF: Much like its Eastern Europe counterpart, this product offers exposure to countries in the Near East region of the world that are generally major exporters of important commodities. This product looks to track the Solactive Central Asia Index, similar to the other region specific products in this offering except this one offers exposure to Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
- Sub-Saharan Africa ETF: This product looks to offer investors exposure to nations in Africa that have high potentials for growth and are experiencing rapidly growing populations. The fund looks to track the Solactive Sub-Saharan Africa index, and although index components were not released, investors should note that Nigeria and South Africa are among the biggest economies in the region [Africa ETF: Ready To Surge?].
- Pan Arab ETF: This product looks to track the S&P Pan Arab Index, giving investors another option to access economies in the Arab world. The product looks to have a wide focus and seeks to track companies in the following nations: Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and the U.A.E.
The funds look to follow in the footsteps of Global X’s already robust lineup of country and region specific funds. The company already offers individual ETFs targeting nations such as Colombia (GXG)and Norway (NORW), as well as relatively new region products tracking the ASEAN region (ASEA) and the Andean region (AND) to go along with their older Nordic Region Fund (GXF).
While many of the funds may not appeal to investors seeking to build a diversified portfolio with just a few products, the new funds could allow many investors to slice and dice regions even further, allowing for greater diversification in many portfolios. Furthermore, virtually all of the products proposed look to be first-to-market ETFs in their respective fields, potentially giving the soaring ETF issuer another leg up on the competition in its quest to become one of the big ETF players in the market.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.
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