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Top 10 Asia ETFs -- Excluding China and India

#6: iShares Malaysia ETF (EWM)

EWM follows the MSCI Malaysia Index which is a proprietary index follow the equity market of Malaysia. The fund was launched in March 1996. The expense ratio is .53%. AUM equal $856 million and average daily trading volume is 1.9M shares. (These figures compare with $1.1 billion and average daily trading volume equals 2.6M shares in the early summer 2011.) As of early January 2012 the annual dividend yield was 4.06% and YTD return .90%.

Malaysia remains a resource rich country (rubber & palm oil) with excellent demographics indicating a consumer driven economy as well.

Data as of First Quarter 2012

EWM Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

  1. CIMB Group Holdings Berhad: 9.61%
  2. Malayan Banking Bhd Maybank: 7.78%
  3. Sime Darby Berhad (Malaysia): 6.78%
  4. Genting Bhd (3182): 6.23%
  5. IOI Corp Berhad: 4.48%
  6. Tenaga Nasional Berhad: 4.29%
  7. Petronas Chemicals: 4.00%
  8. Public Bank Berhad: 3.69%
  9. Axiata Group BHD: 3.61%
  10. Maxis Bhd: 3.45%

 

#7: Van Eck Indonesia ETF (IDX)

IDX follows the Market Vectors Indonesia Index which features companies domiciled in Indonesia or earning at least 50% of their revenues from the country. The fund was launched in January 2009. The expense ratio is .60%. AUM equal $503 million and average daily trading volume is 366K shares. (In early summer 2011, AUM was $800 million and average daily trading volume is 400K shares reflecting the sharp market decline.) As of early January 2012 the annual dividend yield was 1.6% and YTD return was 1.4%.

Like other countries in the region, Indonesia is rich in natural resources from timber, agriculture mining and energy. The country is also an OPEC member.

Data as of First Quarter 2012

IDX Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

  1. Astra International Tbk (ASII): 8.46%
  2. Bank Central Asia Tbk (BBCA): 8.07%
  3. P.T. Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk. ADR (TLK): 6.95%
  4. Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) Tbk B: 6.69%
  5. PT Bank Mandiri (Persero) TBK: 5.92%
  6. United Tractors Tbk: 4.36%
  7. PT Perusahaan Gas Negara (Persero) TBK (PGAS): 3.86%
  8. Bumi Resources Tbk: 3.53%
  9. Gudang Garam TBK: 3.51%
  10. Golden Agri-Resources Ltd. (E5H): 3.50%

 

#8: iShares Thailand ETF (THD)

THD follow the MSCI Thailand Investable Market Index which again is another proprietary index featuring coverage of the overall Thailand equity market. The fund was launched in March 2008. The expense ratio is .62%. AUM equal $462 million and average daily trading volume is 216K shares. (This compares with the early summer 2011 with AUM of $680 million and average daily trading volume is 250K shares.) As of early January 2012 the annual dividend yield was 2.75% and YTD return -.07%.

Tsunamis and flooding didn't slow the Thai market down much. Once again this is due to excellent demographics and large natural resources.

Data as of First Quarter 2012

THD Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

  1. PTT Public Co Ltd: 10.92%
  2. PTT Exploration & Production PCL (PTTEP): 7.53%
  3. Siam Commercial Bank Public Co Ltd: 7.06%
  4. Kasikornbank Public Company, Ltd. (KBANK-F): 5.77%
  5. Bangkok Bank PCL (BBL-F): 5.53%
  6. Advanced Info Service Public Company Limited: 5.19%
  7. CP All Public Co Ltd: 4.59%
  8. Ptt Chemical Public Company Limited ADR (PTTCH-R): 4.55%
  9. Siam Cement: 4.45%
  10. Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Co Ltd: 4.14%

#9: iShares Philippines ETF (EPHE)

EPHE (iShares Philippines ETF) follows the MSCI Philippines Investable Market Index which again is a proprietary index covering the broad equity market in the country. The fund was launched in September 2010. The expense ratio is .65%. AUM equals $70 million and average daily trading volume of 53K shares. (AUM during the early summer of 2011 was $85 million and average daily trading volume is 82K shares which show, despite good performance, money was still flowing-out of the market.) As of early January 2012 the annual dividend yield is 1.34% and YTD return is 6.02%%.

The Philippines is another resource rich country with mining, agriculture and excellent demographics making the consumer sector more dynamic. Most important is this is the best performing market of the group overall.

Data as of First Quarter 2012

EPHE Top Ten Holdings &Weightings

  1. Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PHTCF): 8.84%
  2. SM Investments Corp: 8.17%
  3. Ayala Land Inc: 6.98%
  4. Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc: 6.48%
  5. Sm Prime Holdings Inc: 6.05%
  6. Manila Electric Co: 5.69%
  7. Aboitiz Power Corp: 4.58%
  8. Ayala Corp: 4.35%
  9. BDO Unibank Inc: 4.32%
  10. Energy Development Corp: 3.86%

 

#10: Van Eck Vietnam ETF (VNM)

VNM follows the Market Vectors Vietnam Index which includes companies either domiciled in the country or earning at least 50% of its revenues from the country. The fund was launched in August 2009. The expense ratio is .76%. AUM equal $193 million and average daily trading volume is 130K shares. (This compares with early summer 2011 AUM $265 million and average daily trading volume is 175K shares.) As of early January 2012 the annual dividend yield was 1.10% and YTD return of -1.03%.

Here it should be noted that inflation and currency devaluation have crippled equity performance. Further the economy and country are still heavily state controlled as a carryover from communist days continues. This doesn't help the free market economy despite much investor interest in the country.

Data as of First Quarter 2012

VNM Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

  1. BaoViet Holdings: 8.49%
  2. Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade: 6.94%
  3. Petrovietnam Fertilizer & Chemicals: 6.30%
  4. Joint Stock Commercial Bank For Foreign Trade of Vietnam: 6.24%
  5. Vincom Joint Stock Co: 6.23%
  6. Premier Oil PLC (PMO): 6.03%
  7. Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Co Ltd: 5.79%
  8. Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC): 5.06%
  9. Talisman Energy Inc (TLM): 4.71%
  10. Gamuda Berhad: 4.54%

This area of the world ex-Japan is the most fertile for economic growth and development given youthful populations and high levels of natural resources. Naturally, exports remain a large part of economic activity but down the road internal consumer demand primarily due to excellent demographics can also be expected.

As indicated Japan has significant debt problems and an aging population. Nevertheless many companies in the country are multinational with manufacturing and divisions in other parts of the world which can offset domestic concerns.

Negative spillover from the eurozone problems continue to plague and unnerve investors in all global markets.

It's also important to remember that ETF sponsors have their own competitive business interests when issuing products which may not necessarily align with your investment needs. New ETFs from highly regarded and substantial new providers are also being issued. These may include Charles Schwab's ETFs and Scottrade's Focus Shares which both are issuing new ETFs with low expense ratios and commission free trading at their respective firms. These may also become popular as they become seasoned. 

For further information about portfolio structures using technical indicators like DeMark and other indicators, take a free 14-day trial at ETF Digest. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook as well and join our group conversations.

You may address any feedback to: feedback@etfdigest.com  

The ETF Digest has no current positions in the featured ETFs.

(Source for data is from ETF sponsors and various ETF data providers)

 

 

This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

Dave Fry is founder and publisher of ETF Digest, Dave's Daily blog and the best-selling book author of Create Your Own ETF Hedge Fund, A DIY Strategy for Private Wealth Management, published by Wiley Finance in 2008. A detailed bio is here: Dave Fry.

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