Back on March 9, 2017 I added Grupo Financiero Galicia (GGAL) to my Volatility Portfolio ahead of tomorrow’s decision by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) on whether or not to upgrade Argentina to emerging market status from frontier market status. The upgrade would return Argentina to the emerging markets index most favored by portfolio managers and index funds. MSCI downgraded Argentina to frontier market status in 2009. About 100 times more money tracks emerging markets than frontier markets.
This was a speculative trade but I thought a reasonable one since the administration of Mauricio Macri has guided Argentina back into global financial markets. About 18 months ago Argentina succeeded in selling an $18 billion bond issue. That ended a decade of the country’s exclusion from global financial markets.
The pick of Group Financiero Galicia, an Argentine financial company, has gained 30.58% since March 9.
Today, just ahead of the MSCI decision, I’m adding more Argentina exposure to my volatility portfolio with the pick of Global X MSCI Argentina ETF (ARGT.) The ETF has $174 million in total assets, giving you decent liquidity. The expense ratio is 0.59%. The ETF is highly volatile, I’d note. It’s up 31.43% year to date and 28.03% for 2016, but that follows on a loss of 2.77% in 2015 and a loss of 3.65% in 2014.