WisdomTree

Emerging Markets, Equity

Accessing Small-Cap Value in Emerging Markets

by Tripp Zimmerman, Associate Director of Research on December 11, 2015

WisdomTree believes that weighting by market capitalization, which does not weight, consider or rebalance back to any measure of economic importance of the underlying constituents, may not always be the best approach to indexing. Instead, we believe a disciplined strategy of anchoring allocations back to a measure of relative value, based on fundamentals such as dividends or earnings, can add value over time. We also believe that this fundamental process may prove to be most important in less efficient markets, such as small caps or emerging markets.

Within emerging market small caps we focus on dividends, and the WisdomTree Emerging Markets SmallCap Dividend Index (WTEMSC) seeks to provide broad exposure to small-cap dividend payers in emerging markets while maintaining sensitivity to valuation. WTEMSC screens by size capitalization and then weights by dividends, thereby focusing on small-cap value. Compared to the MSCI Emerging Markets Small Cap Index, WTEMSC provides a dividend yields advantage of more than 207 basis point (bps) and sells at a 16.7% discount on a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio basis. To remain sensitive to valuations, WisdomTree rebalances the Index back to size and fundamentals on an annual basis.

The rebalance process typically is driven by the following:
 
• Dividend Growth: Companies that grow their dividends see their weight increased.
• Relative Performance:

• Underperformers typically see their weight increased.
• Outperformers typically see their weight decreased.

The following tables provide detailed changes in sector and country exposures for the WisdomTree Emerging Markets SmallCap Dividend Index.
 
Changes in Country Weights for WisdomTree Emerging Markets SmallCap Dividend Index
Changes in Country Weights for WT EM SmallCap Div Index
Country Changes: In an effort to be more inclusive of Chinese securities, WisdomTree expanded its country classification for China from being determined strictly by the country of incorporation to either country of incorporation or country of domicile1. As a result of the change, the largest country increase for WTEMSC was China with 14.4% in added weight. There were 102 additional companies eligible for inclusion, and they earned a 14.5% weight based on their Dividend Stream® at the rebalance. An additional 58 Chinese companies earned an additional 8.8% weight, bringing the Chinese representation to 160 securities, making up 23.3% of the Index. Brazilian small caps saw a slight additional increase in weight, primarily as a result of their poor relative performance over the past year, which contracted more than their dividends. South Korea, Thailand and Turkey all saw stronger relative performance, and each saw a decrease in weight as a result. South Korea experienced the biggest decrease, as it was the best performer over the period; it also lost some representativeness due to China’s large addition.
 
Changes in Sector Weights for WisdomTree Emerging Markets SmallCap Dividend Index
Changes in Sector Weights for WT EM SmallCap Div Index

Sector Changes: The newly eligible Chinese securities are fairly diversified across sectors, with nine sectors being represented and five sectors having at least 10 added constituents. Among the 102 newly classified China constituents, the largest sector additions were Consumer Discretionary with 28 names, representing a 3.7% weight, and Financials with 18 names, representing a 4.8% weight.

• Looking at the entire Index, Financials and Information Technology saw the largest weight increases. The Information Technology sector realized some of the best dividend growth over the period, outpacing its relative price advantage and earning it a higher weight.

 

• Two of the largest weight decreases occurred for Health Care and Consumer Staples, which were two top performers over the period, leading to a classic example of the Index selling weight from top performers to reposition into other areas that saw fundamental improvement.

 
 
 
 
1As a result of the new China classification, 169 additional Chinese companies were added to the broad WisdomTree Emerging Markets Index, with 30 being reclassified from the developed world and 139 being newly eligible. The WisdomTree Emerging Market SmallCap Dividend Index is derived from the broad WisdomTree Emerging Markets Index.

Important Risks Related to this Article

Investments in emerging, offshore or frontier markets are generally less liquid and less efficient than investments in developed markets and are subject to additional risks, such as risks of adverse governmental regulation and intervention or political developments.

Investments focusing on certain sectors and/or smaller companies increase their vulnerability to any single economic or regulatory development.

Dividends are not guaranteed, and a company’s future ability to pay dividends may be limited. A company currently paying dividends may cease paying dividends at any time.

 

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