After Modi Win, Will Investors Finally Return to India ETFs?

ETF Trends

As is now widely known, India exchange traded funds have gotten significant lifts in the run up to and confirmation of the landslide victory for Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi in the country’s recent national election.

Those gains could grow if Modi’s BJP National Democratic Alliance can control at least 273 seats in India’s Lok Sabha, that country’s parliament. That is the amount necessary to form a majority government, giving Modi the mandate markets are hoping for to spur infrastructure and increase economic reforms. [India Election Results Could Lift Infrastructure ETF]

But even with the WisdomTree India Earnings Fund (EPI) , iShares MSCI India ETF (INDA) and the iShares India 50 ETF (INDY) , the three largest India ETFs, all sitting on impressive 2014 gains, investors have been reluctant to embrace India ETFs.

Including the leveraged Direxion Daily India Bull 3X Shares (INDL) there are 11 India-specific ETFs. Overall, there are about 130 ETFs that offer some exposure to India, less than half the amount that allocate some portion of their weight to China.

Investors have not done much allocating to India ETFs this year, an odd phenomenon considering the stellar performances offered by these funds. EPI, the largest India ETF, is the best-performing the four major single-country BRIC ETFs, but the fund has lost almost $63 million in assets this year. The iPath MSCI India Index ETN (INP) has bled $22 million.

That while foreign investors ranging from pension plans to endowments to sovereign wealth funds have returned in earnest to Indian equities. By some estimates, foreign investment inflows to India could surges 30% to 40% if Modi can form a majority government. [Rupee Rallies as Foreign Investors Return to India]

Investors have not displayed much taste for more focused India ETFs, either. The EGShares India Consumer ETF (INCO) and the EGShares India Infrastructure Index Fund (INXX) are up an average of 20% this year, but INCO has gained no new cash while INXX has brought in less than $600,000.

To be fair, INDA, INDY and the PowerShares India Portfolio (PIN) have combined 2014 inflows of nearly $192 million. However, the iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (EWZ) has brought in over $303 in just the past month. Inflows of $192 million would be equivalent to just a few minutes of trading for the iShares China Large-Cap ETF (FXI) , which turns over more than quadruple that sum on a daily basis.

Giving credit where it is due, the Market Vectors India Small-Cap Index ETF (SCIF) has pulled in $96.5 million of its $245.3 million in assets under management this year. SCIF is up 31% this year.

WisdomTree India Earnings Fund

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