Investing

Turkey and Syria Help Emerging Markets and Frontier Markets Near Crisis

Old Palace in KabulNews of escalating protests and violence in Turkey and the Syrian civil war conflict are both hitting at a time when emerging markets are already soft. The real risk in the eyes of investors now is that another wave of violence and protests will spread throughout the Middle East yet again. Many Western investors are not even aware of the emerging market and the pre-emerging class called frontier markets, but these are getting spanked as the turmoil continues.

24/7 Wall St. is taking a look at just how much value the pressure is destroying, on top of the severe human toll that is happening in the region. The carnage is being seen in American depositary receipts (ADRs), exchange traded funds (ETFs) and closed-end mutual funds with primary exposure to the region. Keep in mind that the S&P 500 Index is up by 15% so far in 2013, and that is even with the 1% drop on Tuesday morning.

Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS (NYSE: TKC) is down 2.3% at $13.60 in New York ADR trading, making the losses here more than 15% so far in 2013. The Turkish Investment Fund Inc. (NYSE: TKF) closed-end fund is down 0.6% at $16.06, and this one is down almost 4% year to date. Finally, the iShares MSCI Turkey Investable Market Index (NYSEMKT: TUR) is down 1% at $75.15, but its shares are up 12% so far in 2013. Here are the moves being seen elsewhere:

Market Vectors Africa Index ETF (NYSEMKT: AFK) is down 1.7% at $28.92, and this one is down about 8% so far year-to-date.

The SPDR S&P Emerging Middle East & Africa (NYSEMKT: GAF) is down almost 3% at $58.89 with a wide bid-ask spread, and this ETF is down by 20% so far in 2013.

The Market Vectors Egypt Index ETF (NYSEMKT: EGPT) is down almost 1% at $9.62, but this is down some 25% so far in 2013.

Guggenheim Frontier Markets (NYSEMKT: FRN) is down only 0.3% at $16.62, but this is down about 20% from its 52-week high of $20.73. This ETF is down 16% so far in 2013.

One exception to the selling so far on Tuesday is the ADR of the National Bank of Greece S.A. (NYSE: NBG). Its shares in New York are up almost 2% initially at $5.13, despite having large bank subsidiary operations in Turkey. On a split-adjusted basis, this ADR is down about two-thirds just so far in 2013.

The WisdomTree Middle East Dividend (NASDAQ: GULF) is down more than 2% at $18.15 with a very wide bid-ask spread, but this is actually up 22% year to date in 2013.

Investors will at some point start to reconsider investing in these regions covering emerging and frontier markets, even those with exposure to the volatile Middle East region. When it happens, it does not take a lot of capital inflows to create a large move in share prices. The question is WHEN.

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