Yet, this small Southeast Asian country is still at war—with inflation. Nearing 20%, inflation crushed the Vietnamese economy in 2011. The Vietnamese government has recently taken strong and decisive action to curb inflation and return Vietnam to its previous prosperity.
Vietnam falls into the Emerging Markets sector. Two of the largest emerging market’s ETF’s Vanguard’s (NYSEArca:VWO) and iShares (NYSEArca:EEM) do not list Vietnam among their top 10 holdings geographically. [Related: WisdomTree Emerging Market Small Cap ETF (NYSEArca:DGS), WisdomTree Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca:DEM)]
I have not found any Vietnamese stocks listed on the NYSE.
Market Vectors Vietnam ETF (NYSEArca:VNM) is the best way for investors to gain exposure to this truly emerging market.
VNM’s holding are weighted in financials at 42.5%. Energy comprises 26.5% of this ETF with industrials 12%, materials 7.7% and consumer goods 9%. Although financials dominate, this is a diversified ETF and typical composition of an individual country index.
Average volume of 138K shares daily would not be considered heavy volume, but it is by no means illiquid or ‘thinly traded’. What’s important in the table is relative volume has traded at 2.4x the norm. Somebody is showing a lot of interest in Vietnam—rightly so. With 40% off the highs, VNM has a lot of room to move.
The Money Flow Index shows that buyers have come in strong after the December lows. Even more encouraging, the price has broken out of the descending wedge pattern and has made a higher high for the first time on the chart. The +/- Directional Index confirms that the bulls have made a decisive break out.
To test this price action as a true trend reversal, we need to see a pullback and support built. A pullback to $16 (the higher high breakout point) and recovery would be an ideal indication of a turnaround in Vietnam.
Catching a bounce at $16 to ride VNM up to its May 2011 highs would be nearly a 50% gain. Not bad for a “war torn” nation.
Disclosure: I currently have no position in VNM.
ETF Digest writes a subscription newsletter focused on technical analysis of exchange-traded funds. ETF Digest was founded in 2001 and was among the very first to see the need for a publication that provided individual investors with information and advice on ETF investing. Even if you’re not a fan of chart analysis, ETF Digest provides insight and commentary into which global markets are “working” and why.