BlackRock’s (BLK) iShares—the largest exchange-traded fund issuer in the world—will add another arrow to its quiver on Thursday when it launches a new ETF that will track an index of 20 of the world’s riskiest markets, according to a filing.
The iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Index Fund (FM) will track the MSCI Frontier Markets Index, which is down 1.6% year-to-date and primarily tracks energy, financial services and telecommunications securities in 20 constituent nations, including Argentina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kenya, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar and Vietnam. The ETF will carry an annual expense ratio of 79 basis points.
Representing 30% of the global population, frontier markets are forecast to be among the world's fastest growing economies, accroding to the firm. Driven by a growing consumer class and a rich supply of natural resources, frontier markets are moving along the same path that led global emerging markets to be one of the strongest asset classes of the last 25 years.
"For investors who are seeking broader equity market exposures, this fund is a logical extension of investing globally," said Daniel Gamba, Head of iShares Americas Institutional Business at BlackRock.