Global Markets Wrap: Emerging Market Elections and ETFs

Voting in Nigeria and Turkey may mean different things for investors.

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Reviewed by: Shubham Saharan
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Edited by: Shubham Saharan

Nigeria exchange-traded funds may be set for gains, while Turkey-focused funds may slump as the countries’ citizens choose new leaders.  

On Wednesday, Bola Tinubu was named the winner of Nigeria’s election following issues with polling and transparency during the election. His rise to the presidency may bolster ETFs tied to the nation, as analysts expect key reforms in the country’s financial sector.  

Morgan Stanley Nigeria analyst Neville Mandimika wrote in a note to investors on Thursday, that the bank had turned "bullish" on Nigeria's government bonds, Reuters reported. The firm anticipates Tinubu’s victory would spur the easing of fuel subsidies and the activation of an oil refinery, among other actions, he wrote. 

"In the short-to-medium term we think that there are potential positive triggers," Mandimika wrote in the note. 

Nigeria-affiliated ETFs have since inched up, with the Global X MSCI Nigeria ETF (NGE) and the VanEck Africa Index ETF (AFK) rising 0.1% and 0.8%, respectively on Friday. Year to date, NGE has increased 16.9% while AFK has jumped 0.9%.  

Meanwhile, in Turkey, the potential of current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan maintaining his seat may dissuade international investors and hamper ETF performance, according to Steven Schoenfeld, CEO of MarketVector Indexes.  

“This result would not please most foreign investors, as his government has promulgated highly unorthodox economic policies,” Schoenfeld said in comments emailed to ETF.com about the May 14 election. “Despite Erdogan’s declining poll numbers, he remains the favorite to win.” 

The potential losses may add to Turkey-linked ETFs’ woes. In the week ending Feb. 24, $26.1 million flowed from the iShares MSCI Turkey ETF (TUR), the largest weekly outflow for the fund since the end of 2021, according to Bloomberg data.  

Last year, foreign investors sold $4.1 billion in Turkish equities despite the performance of the country’s BIST 100 Index, which more than doubled in 2022, Bloomberg reported. TUR dipped 2% during the trading day Friday, and year to date, the fund has slumped nearly 7%.  

 

Contact Shubham Saharan  at[email protected]    

Shubham Saharan is a markets reporter at etf.com. Before joining the company, she reported for Bloomberg and the Financial Times. Saharan is a graduate of Barnard College of Columbia University.