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Trackinsight: Ukraine's neighboring markets investors are feeling the heat

03/02/2022 | 11:00am EDT

Russia's war has taken its toll on Ukraine's neighboring markets.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine was the biggest attack by one state against another in Europe since WWII. The war, entering day 7, has taken its toll on the markets, especially those which border Ukraine. Central or Eastern European countries, such as Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia have condemned the attack and braced for refugees. Poland's market index — the WIG – has fallen by -5.5% since the war broke out. Hungary's BUX and Romania's BET have dropped by -20% and -6% respectively over the same period.

ETFs to play a bounce-back of Ukraine's neighboring markets 

Investors can play the future rebound of Ukraine's neighboring through Exchange-traded funds. The iShares MSCI Poland Capped ETF (EPOL) seeks to track the MSCI Poland IMI 25/50 Index and invests in a broad range of Polish stocks. The fund has a 41% allocation to Financials, 13.7% to Energy, 11% to Materials, and 10.13% to Communication. EPOL has 38 holdings and include POWSZECHNA KASA OSZCZEDNOSCI BANK (12.92%, Financials), KGHM POLSKA MIEDZ SA (8.25%, Materials), BANK PEKAO SA (7.62%, Financials), POLSKI KONCERN NAFTOWY ORLEN SA (7.59%, Energy), and PZU SA (6.79%, Financials).  The fund has a total expense ratio of 0.57% and trades primarily on the NYSE Arca. Year-to-date, the fund's NAV has fallen by -15.08% (as of February 28th, 2022).

While there's no pure Romanian Equities ETF, the iShares MSCI Frontier and Select EM ETF (FM) provides a 5.13% allocation to Romanian stocks. There are no ETFs available in America with significant exposure to Hungary or Slovakia. It is also recommended to avoid any ETFs with exposure to Russia due to the mounting economic sanctions.

ETFs to play a bounce-back of Ukraine's neighboring markets

European investors have a larger variety of ETFs with a pure focus on Ukraine's neighboring nations. The iShares MSCI Poland UCITS ETF (SPOL) and Expat Poland UCITS ETF (PLX) provide exposure to Polish stocks by tracking the MSCI Poland Index and the WIG20 Index respectively. SPOL trades on London Stock Exchange (SPOL, GBP or IPOL, USD), the Deutsche Boerse (IBCJ, EUR), and the BX Stock Exchange (SPOL, USD), while PLX trades on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange (PLX, HUF) and on the Deutsche Boerse (PLX, EUR). Investors can also gain access to the Romanian, Hungarian and Slovakian markets through Expat Romania BET UCITS ETF (ROX), Expat Hungary BUX UCITS ETF (HUBE), and the Expat Slovakia SAX UCITS ETF (SK9A) respectively.

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© 2022
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
KGHM POLSKA MIED? S.A. -1.35% 113.45 Delayed Quote.-17.50%
LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE PLC 0.31% 8332 Delayed Quote.19.86%
MSCI FRONTIER MARKETS 0.18% 531.962 Real-time Quote.-20.08%
POLAND WIG 20 -0.69% 1684.14 Delayed Quote.-25.19%
SAX INDEX -0.01% 374.72 Real-time Quote.-5.69%
US DOLLAR / RUSSIAN ROUBLE (USD/RUB) -1.08% 60.4664 Delayed Quote.-19.25%
WIG INDEX (PLN) 1.89% 54760.98 Real-time Quote.-20.54%
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