Oil prices are inching higher and for exchange traded fund (
) investors there are several ways to play the future of oil. ETFs
can provide exposure to oil through futures contracts or through
companies that deal directly with oil. Add one more way to get
exposure to that list.
Many countries that are rich in oil have state-owned oil
companies, and the logic goes that if oil does well, then the
economy of the oil rich country will benefit,
remarks Johnathan Bernstein for ETFZone
ETFs to Hedge Rising Oil and Gas Prices - If It
Countries that have the largest proven oil reserves include
Saudi Arabia, Canada, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates,
Venezuela, Russia, Libya and Nigeria, in that order. Only Canada
and Russia have their own country-specific ETF and some regional
ETFs provide exposure to Kuwait, the UAE, and Nigeria. Libya, Iraq,
and Iran, are currently unavailable to U.S. retail investors.
In analyzing the
iShares MSCI Canada (NYSEArca:
against other oil-related ETFs, Bernstein found EWC outperformed,
but it wasn't strictly because of oil's increasing price. Less than
25% of the fund's holdings are in the energy sector, a third of the
allocations make up financial assets and about 20% is in the
industrial materials sector. The sharp re-valuation of financial
assets has helped boost EWC above oil-related ETFs. Additionally,
oil and raw material prices has helped strengthen the Canadian
dollar - fund assets are denominated in Canadian dollars, which
means higher U.S. dollar returns. [
Canadian Dollar ETF: Why It's Strong.
Market Vectors Gulf States ETF (NYSEArca:
also performed better than oil-related ETFs, but started lagging
when the Dubai World debt crisis hit. The financial sector makes up
more than 60% of the fund. UAE makes up 20% of the fund, Kuwait is
60% and Qatar is 15%. [
Africa ETFs: 5 Plays for a Growing Economy.
With a 40% exposure to energy, the
Russia Market Vectors Russia ETF (NYSEArca:
has reflected Russia's dependence on oil and other raw materials. [
Russia ETFs: Ready to Power Up?
The same can be said for African countries like Libya and
Nigeria, which are represented in the
Market Vectors Africa (NYSEArca:
. Nigeria makes up 20% of the fund, South Africa is 30%, Morocco
and Egypt together is 30%. AFK only has around 10% direct exposure
to energy companies.
Other ETFs that include oil-rich countries include:
WisdomTree Middle East Dividend (NASDAQ:
PowerShares MENA Frontier Countries (
For more information on oil, visit our
Max Chen contributed to this article.