The Financial Times is reporting that exchange traded funds are gaining traction in the Gulf.
According to the article ETF appeal begins to grow in the Gulf, the French bank SocGen launched a Kuwaiti ETF this summer and BNP Paribas recently launched ETFs that track Kuwaiti and United Arab Emirates indices.
Additional growth could come from regional exchanges who are looking to possibly add local ETFs as a way to add liquidity and depth to their markets.
For US investors interested in opportunities in the Middle East, the PowerShares MENA Frontier Countries Portfolio (PMNA) tracks an index of the largest and most liquid securities of companies domiciled in Middle Eastern and North African countries that have smaller economies or less developed capital markets than traditional emerging markets. The fund includes securities domiciled in: Egypt, Morocco, Oman, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and United Arab Emirates.
The Claymore BNY Mellon Frontier Markets ETF (FRN) invests in ADRs and GDRs of companies in the Frontier Market which includes Kuwait, Oman and the UAE.
WisdomTree’s Middle East Dividend Fund (GULF) tracks the performance of companies in the Middle East region that pay regular cash dividends. Companies must be eligible to be purchased by foreign investors and incorporated in and listed on a major stock exchange in Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Qatar or the United Arab Emirates.
The Market Vectors Africa Index ETF (AFK) tracks an index of African companies that span 11 countries — from the more developed South Africa, Egypt and Morocco to the frontier markets of Nigeria, Ghana and Zambia.
For a more complete look at Gulf ETFs, see Investing in Frontier Markets with ETFs.