International Report: Q4 2019

Notable Performers

In terms of single-country exposure, the Global X MSCI Pakistan ETF (PAK) was the best performer over the quarter. PAK rebounded from a low earlier in the year and posted a robust 27.28% return for the quarter after Moody’s upgraded the country’s outlook to stable from negative.1

The second best single-country ETF performance within the suite was the Global X MSCI Argentina ETF (ARGT), which returned 16.79% in the quarter. Of these ETFs, ARGT was also the best performer in December, providing some relief to the markets after a massive sell-off following presidential primaries in August. ARGT began recovering towards the end of the year after President Fernández appointed a cabinet that seemed to suggest political pragmatism rather than polarization. The administration also expressed support for restructuring Argentina’s $100 billion of debt, spending on key infrastructure projects, and policy buttressing the energy sector. 2, 3, 4

After trade tensions stretching 18 months, the US and China agreed to a partial trade deal that ignited a rally in both equity markets.5 Performance across Chinese sectors was mixed, but the Global X MSCI China Large-Cap 50 ETF (CHIL) returned 25.45% in 2019, with roughly half of the gains seen in the last quarter.

The Global X MSCI Colombia ETF (GXG) also performed well, returning 12.58% in Q4 and 30.12% over the course of 2019 due to higher-than-expected economic growth and strong domestic consumption. Colombia received recent praise from the IMF for promoting growth within its communication and business services and for its long-term contributions to global growth.

With a return of 49.33% for the year, the Global X MSCI Greece ETF (GREK) was the best performing Global X single country ETF for 2019. During the year, Greece was a rare bright spot in a Eurozone coming to grips with the need for more potent stimulus and structural reform. Improving macro data, proactive policy from the New Democracy party, and a strengthening financial sector seem to encourage bullish behaviors towards Greece’s long-term growth trajectory. GREK’s performance reflects what appears to be growing optimism in an economy that was battered down for years.

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