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BRIC ETF Rally Defies Slowing Economies, Social Unrest


The BRICs — Brazil, Russia, India and China — are slowing down, and the weaker growth in the emerging markets could exacerbate social tensions and civil unrest. Yet the BRIC ETFs have rallied the past month to outperform broader emerging market funds.

The Guggenheim BRIC ETF (EEB) fell 10.7% year-to-date, iShares MSCI BRIC ETF (BKF) declined 11.9%, and the SPDR S&P BRIC 40 ETF (BIK) dropped 9.5%.

Over the eight weeks ended July 17, about $40.3 billion was pulled out of emerging market bonds and equity funds, Bloomberg reports. In comparison, $111 billion was funneled into these asset classes in 2012. [BRIC ETFs Get Hit with Outflows]

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index has decreased 9% since May 21, the day before the Fed hinted at “tapering” its bond purchasing plan if the U.S. employment kept improving. Many developing markets posted double digit falls, whereas the MSCI World Index of advanced nations showed little change.

BRIC economies have been slowing since 2010, Angel Gurria , secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, said. Gurria also believes that any slowdown is particularly noticeable in developing economies since they depend on growth to assuage social tensions. [BRIC ETFs Languish with Emerging Markets]

“If you lift your people out of extreme poverty, it’s not like they’re going to say ‘Great, now we’re all set, we don’t want anything else,’” Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank, said in the article. “This is not going to go away. This is the most natural thing in the world.”

With the recent protests in Brazil and Turkey, Nomura International Plc expects 11 other countries to face similar market-moving civil unrest in the short- to mid-term.

“When people are disappointed, they go to the streets,” Michael Shaoul, chairman and chief executive officer in New York of Marketfield Asset Management, added in the article. “They haven’t given that up just because they’ve had a good decade.”

The International Monetary Fund has lowered its global growth projections for the fifth consecutive time as of July 9, citing stable but lower China growth and risk of capital outflows. Developing economies are expected to grow 5% this year, below the 5.3% forecast in April and the annual average 6.6% over the past decade.

Guggenheim BRIC ETF

For more information on BRIC countries, visit our BRICs category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Mr. Lydon serves as an independent trustee of certain mutual funds and ETFs that are managed by Guggenheim Investments; however, any opinions or forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Mr. Lydon and not those of Guggenheim Funds, Guggenheim Investments, Guggenheim Specialized Products, LLC or any of their affiliates. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.