The move was seen as a positive for the Egyptian economy and Egyptian stocks, as it makes the country's exports more competitive and investing in the country more attractive for foreigners. In local currency terms, Egypt's stock market hit an eight-year high, but for investors in EGPT―which is denominated in dollars―that was little solace as the slide in the Egyptian pound cut deeply into returns.
The third single-country fund to make the worst performers list was the VanEck Vectors ChinaAMC SME-ChiNext ETF (CNXT) with a 26.9% decline. CNXT was the best-performing ETF of 2015, but this year China ETFs struggled, as economic growth in the world's second-largest economy continued to cool and the yuan slid sharply against the dollar (to its lowest level since 2008).
Biotech & Cocoa Blues
One of the funds rounding out the bottom 10 list was the BioShares Biotechnology Clinical Trials Fund (BBC), with a 34.2% drop. Biotech stocks in general fared poorly in 2016 amid accusations of price-gouging from politicians and regulatory uncertainty ahead of the new presidential administration next year.
The iPath Bloomberg Cocoa Subindex Total Return ETN (NIB) was the sole commodity name on the list, with a loss of 31.2%. Favorable weather conditions in West Africa, the main producing region for cocoa, may result in the largest surplus of the commodity in six years, according to Citigroup. Cocoa prices were last trading at a three-year low.
For a full list of this year's worst-performing ETFs, see the table below:
|VXX||iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN||-70.08|
|VIIX||VelocityShares Daily Long VIX Short-Term ETN||-70.03|
|VIXY||ProShares VIX Short-Term Futures ETF||-69.90|
|TAN||Guggenheim Solar ETF||-42.54|
|KWT||VanEck Vectors Solar Energy ETF||-42.38|
|NGE||Global X MSCI Nigeria ETF||-38.39|
|BBC||BioShares Biotechnology Clinical Trials Fund||-34.21|
|EGPT||VanEck Vectors Egypt Index ETF||-31.80|
|NIB||iPath Bloomberg Cocoa Subindex Total Return ETN||-31.19|
|CNXT||VanEck Vectors ChinaAMC SME-ChiNext ETF||-29.60|
Table excludes leveraged/inverse products, and measures total return in the year-to-date period through Dec. 27.
Contact Sumit Roy at [email protected]