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PIN-terest Among India ETFs


In an effort to make a long story short, the skinny with exchange traded funds holding Indian stocks Friday is the following. All of those ETFs are trading higher, and impressively so, after Narendra Modi, the leader of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party cruised to victory in one of the most widely followed elections in recent memory for the world’s largest democracy.

India ETFs, already this year’s stars among the single-country funds offering BRIC exposure, are being treated to further upside Friday not only because of Modi’s win, but also because his BJP party appears likely to gain enough Narendra Modi, the leader of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, for a majority.

A majority government would be India’s first in three decades and gives Modi the mandate markets are hoping for to spur infrastructure and increase economic reforms. [India Election Results Could Lift Infrastructure ETF]

One of the prime beneficiaries of the Indian ETF ebullience is the PowerShares India Portfolio (PIN) , which is higher by 4.5% Friday and trading at its highest levels in 27 months.

Like the other India ETFs, PIN struggled in the second and third quarters of 2013 as the rupee tumbled amid fears that tighter U.S. monetary policy would exacerbate India’s current account deficit. However, PIN’s sector mix allowed it to be better by comparison than some other India ETFs.

That mix includes a combined 28% weight to technology and health care stocks, two of the sectors in India that global analysts and investors identified as beneficiaries of the weak rupee. [Inflation Pressures India ETFs]

This year, the rupee has turned for the better with the WisdomTree Indian Rupee Strategy Fund (ICN) up 10% as the Indian currency has been one of the best in the emerging world. That has not stung PIN. Again, sector mix is at play.

PIN’s largest sector allocation is an almost 26% weight to energy. A resurgent rupee helps on that front because India imports the bulk of its domestic energy needs. India’s benchmark Sensex hit a record high Friday. Although PIN is not a Sensex tracking ETF, the fund’s ability to be reflective of the Indian benchmark is important and legitimate.

At the end of last year, financial services, energy and technology names represented half of the Sensex. Those sectors combine for over 56% of PIN’s weight.

With PIN’s 2014 gain approaching 22%, some investors may wonder if it, and other India ETFs for that matter, can deliver additional upside. Consider this: PIN would need to surge another 29% to reclaim its 2011 high and another 32% to get back to its all-time high.

Some investors think more gains are possible. Although some India ETFs have struggled to attract new capital this year, PIN has brought in $14.5 million. [Will Investors Return to India ETFs After Modi Win?]

In just the past week, PIN has attracted $15.5 million, ranking as the sixth-best PowerShares ETF for inflows over that time, according to issuer data.

PowerShares India Portfolio