Countries In Review: March 2019

Countries In Review: March 2019

Country ETFs ticked up in January.

Reviewed by: Heather Bell
Edited by: Heather Bell

January was overwhelmingly positive for country ETFs, with only two funds landing in the red. The Global X MSCI Argentina ETF (ARGT) had the largest increase, up 18.49%, the iShares MSCI Brazil ETF (EWZ) was up 18.03% and the iShares MSCI Turkey ETF (TUR) increased by 17.22%. The worst-performing fund was the Global X MSCI Nigeria ETF (NGE), down 5%, followed by the only other country ETF to see a negative return, the iShares MSCI India ETF (INDA), down 2.05%. The third-worst performer, the iShares MSCI Malaysia ETF (EWM), was actually up 1.34%. In terms of flows, the iShares MSCI South Korea ETF (EWY) took in the most, at $414.2 million, followed by EWZ and the iShares MSCI South Africa ETF (EZA), which gained $147.4 million and $141.4 million, respectively. Meanwhile, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) hemorrhaged more than $12 billion, the largest loss in the country category. It was followed distantly by the iShares MSCI Japan ETF (EWJ), which lost $213.1 million, and the iShares MSCI Canada ETF (EWC), which lost $53.5 million.



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Index Data Source: MSCI.
ETF Return Data Source: Bloomberg.
All return data from 12/31/2018 to 1/31/2019

Note: This list intends to capture the returns of most liquid ETFs tracking individual countries around the world. It does not capture every country in the MSCI All Country World Index. Also, as indicated by the design above, frontier market countries are not included in the MSCI All Country World Index.

Heather Bell is a former managing editor of She has also held editorial positions at Dow Jones Indexes and Lehman Brothers. Bell is a graduate of Dartmouth college and resides in the Denver area with her two dogs.