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Invesco PowerShares to list Middle East and North Africa equity ETF

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Exchange-traded fund provider Invesco PowerShares has announced plans to list a frontier countries portfolio, designed to provide investors with access to equity markets in the Middle East

Exchange-traded fund provider Invesco PowerShares has announced plans to list a frontier countries portfolio, designed to provide investors with access to equity markets in the Middle East and North Africa, on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

‘The PowerShares MENA Frontier Countries Portfolio replicates an index that takes into account certain foreign ownership limitations that are encountered when investing in the Middle East and North Africa,’ says Bruce Bond, the firm’s president and chief executive. ‘We believe it represents a compelling new vehicle for investors seeking access to Middle East and North African equities, as it aims to provide access to nine select frontier markets.’

The fund is based on the Nasdaq OMX Middle East North Africa Index, which is designed to measure the performance of the largest and most liquid securities of companies domiciled in Middle Eastern and North African countries with smaller economies or less developed capital markets than traditional emerging markets. It currently includes securities domiciled in Egypt, Morocco, Oman, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

Restrictions on foreign investments including foreign ownership limitations vary from issuer to issuer. At each quarterly rebalance and reconstitution, Nasdaq OMX Group takes into account the current foreign ownership limitations and locked-in stock. In addition, when a security in the index reaches its limit on foreign ownership, it is immediately removed from the index.

Invesco PowerShares offers more than 100 US, international and active exchange-traded funds with assets under management of USD13.86bn at the end of April.

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