Top ETFs for Global Infrastructure

12/26/2016 10:00 am EST

Focus: ETFs

Stephen Leeb

Founder and Research Chairman, Leeb Group

Infrastructure will be a defining theme throughout the world -- not only in the US. Indeed, there is massive infrastructure spending already underway in the East, asserts Stephen Leeb, editor of The Complete Investor.

So how best to participate in the East’s infrastructure spending? One good way is with exchange-traded funds that hold a large number of international infrastructure companies.

Our two favorites are the iShares Global Infrastructure (IGF) and iShares Emerging Markets Infrastructure (EMIF).

Both ETFs are both ripe for buying right now because since the U.S. election they’ve underperformed most infrastructure plays.

The big reason is that they include utilities, which have sold off as investors, in a knee-jerk reaction, assume that faster growth is bad news for utilities.

Utilities tend to be lumped in with bonds, which have been battered by higher growth and inflation expectations.

But most of the utilities in these two ETFs are ones that have operations that are deregulated, making them more dynamic.

For both ETFs, therefore, the recent weakness should prove temporary as their utility holdings recover on the heels of the increased need for all forms of energy.

Of the two, we would give a very slight nod to EMIF as it has a much larger position in countries comprising China’s One Belt, One Road initiative, which we expect will be the locus of the world’s most intensive infrastructure development over the next generation and beyond.

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