European consumer and business confidence are rising, indicating a new era of growth for the continent. In fact, the confidence indicator in September managed to maintain its upward trend, with a two-year high set in August.
The economy is experiencing rising GDP forecasts for 2013 and 2014 as well. The economic outlook for France, Germany, Greece, Portugal and Spain are improving. The re-election of Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany has also helped to restore political stability in the region considering that Germany is the largest economy in the EU.
The bailout packages by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and EU have saved the Grecian economy from deteriorating further. The economy is approaching the close end of stabilization and 2014 is expected to mark the first year of growth since 2007.
The government expects its economy to grow about 0.6% in 2014, bringing the six-year darkness of recession to a gradual end (Read: 3 Cyclical ETFs for an Improving Economy).
Moreover, based on preliminary figures from the Bank of Spain, the Spanish economy grew 0.1% during the third quarter. The positive figure suggests a surprising end to the two-year recession, marking the first quarterly growth in over two years.
Given these improving trends, there is a “feel-good factor “about the European region. And this is further corroborated by the fact that some of the worst performing markets have led the upswing this past one month.
The surge in these markets is expected to continue at least for the rest of the year and could be worth a look for investors keen to bet on European investments heading into the end of 2013.
Below, we have highlighted the top three country ETFs from the continent, which have been the star performers in the last four weeks. Interestingly, these European ETFs have delivered double-digit returns over the last one month, beating out the S&P 500, as well as the broad European ETFs like Vanguard FTSE Europe ETF (VGK) and iShares MSCI EMU ETF (EZU).
The Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (GREK)
Surprisingly, the best performer among the European ETFs comes from Greece. Investors can consider betting on the economy with The Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (GREK). The fund has gained around 22% over the last 4 weeks, suggesting that a strong positive shift in Greece is at hand. (Read: Greece ETF on the Rise, Can It Continue?).
The product tracks the FTSE/ATHEX Custom Capped Index and manages a small asset base of $84.3 million. The ETF has heavy exposure to the top three firms – Coca Cola HBC AG, Hellenic Telecom and Opap S.A. – that collectively make up 30% of total assets. The fund charges a fee of 65 basis points on an annual basis.