Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Business
Economics

BRIC Bust Fuels Investor Rush Into Frontier-Market ETFs

As investors dump emerging-market equities at an unprecedented clip, they’re turning more and more to frontier markets in search of the next growth story.

No exchange-traded fund focused on developing nations has grown faster in the past year than BlackRock Inc.’s iShares MSCI Frontier 100 fund, whose biggest holdings are in Kuwait and Qatar. Assets under management surged nine-fold to $594 million, fueled by $465 million of inflows and returns of 23 percent. In contrast, BlackRock and Vanguard Group Inc.’s flagship emerging-market exchange-traded funds have seen investors pull a record $26 billion in the period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The MSCI BRIC Index is down 4 percent this quarter, even as it is poised for its best week of gains this week.