In recent sessions there has been selling pressure in the Emerging Markets bond space, particularly with two of the more popular products in the space.
The iShares JP Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond (EMB) — expense ratio 0.60% — which is currently #1 in terms of AUM ranking in the category, has seen more than $400 million leave the door in recent trading days.
PowerShares Emerging Sovereign Debt (PCY) — expense ratio 0.50% — has experienced redemptions tallying north of $100 million.
The two funds currently have approximately $6.3 billion and $2.6 billion respectively, so the outflows are relatively small in the context of total AUM, but still noteworthy given the path of emerging markets debt recently. [Emerging Market Bond ETFs Lead Outflows]
After a steep and steady climb throughout 2012 and heading right into the new-year here in 2013, EMB has corrected more than 3% from recent high of $122.90, while PCY has followed a similar pattern, off more than 3% during this same time frame as well.
Both funds are trading well below their 50 day moving averages at current levels, and of course since bond prices have softened, yields in both funds have risen (EMB Yield 4.20%, PCY 4.63%).
This “space” has matured rapidly in terms of asset growth in the past several years, and we believe the impetus is simply relatively low yields being offered in other corners of the market (i.e. U.S. Treasuries), and the availability of such ETFs that focus on EM debt, that have good track records now of delivering (both funds debuted in 2007) are not being overlooked, but instead used in more and more retail and institutional portfolios.
Whereas ten years ago for instance, costs and feasibility were the biggest barriers for an investor to access bundled EM debt, because it entailed seeking out and acquiring individual bonds, and worse, trading them largely overseas in most cases and worrying about potentially high commissions and unfamiliar regulations.
Both EMB and PCY offered structured and sensible methodologies in granting exposure to the debt of Emerging economies including the likes of the Philippines, Peru, Indonesia, Russia, Brazil, Colombia, Romania, Vietnam, Korea, and Turkey to name a few.
PowerShares Emerging Sovereign Debt
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