Invesco Powershares has taken the wraps off an ETF that provides access to equity markets in the Middle East and North Africa. The new product, PowerShares MENA Frontier Countries Portfolio, is based on the NASDAQ OMX Middle East North Africa Index and began trading Wednesday on the NASDAQ Stock Market.
CHICAGO IL--(MARKET WIRE)--Jul 9, 2008 -- Invesco PowerShares, a leading provider of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), announced that its frontier countries portfolio, designed to provide access to certain equity markets in the Middle East and North Africa, begins trading today on the NASDAQ Stock Market®.
The ticker symbol and ETF portfolio name follows:
-- PMNA - PowerShares MENA Frontier Counties Portfolio
"The PowerShares MENA Frontier Countries Portfolio replicates an index that takes into account certain foreign ownership limitations encountered when investing in certain countries in the Middle East and North Africa," said Bruce Bond, president and CEO of Invesco PowerShares. "We believe PMNA represents a compelling new vehicle for investors to access frontier equity markets of the MENA region."
The PowerShares MENA Frontier Countries Portfolio (PMNA) is based on the NASDAQ OMX Middle East North Africa Index(SM). This Index is designed to measure the performance of the largest and most liquid securities of companies domiciled in Middle Eastern and North African countries included in the Index that have smaller economies or less developed capital markets than traditional emerging markets. The Index currently includes securities domiciled in: Egypt, Morocco, Oman, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and United Arab Emirates (Index currently includes the emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi).
Many of these frontier countries impose restrictions on foreign investments, including foreign ownership limitations. These restrictions may vary from issuer to issuer. At each quarterly rebalance and reconstitution, NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc., the index provider, takes into account the current foreign ownership limitations and locked-in stock. In addition, when a security in the Index reaches its limitations on foreign ownership, it will be removed from the Underlying Index.
An investment in securities of frontier market countries involves risks not associated with investments in securities of developed countries.
Invesco PowerShares is leading the intelligent ETF revolution through its family of more than 100 domestic and international index-based and actively managed exchange-traded funds. With assets under management as of April 30, 2008 of $13.86 billion, PowerShares ETFs trade on all of the major U.S. stock exchanges that trade ETFs. For more information, please visit us at www.invescopowershares.com.
Invesco PowerShares is a part of Invesco Ltd., a leading independent global investment management company dedicated to helping people worldwide build their financial security. By delivering the combined power of its distinctive worldwide investment management capabilities, including AIM, Atlantic Trust, Invesco, Perpetual, PowerShares, Trimark, and WL Ross, Invesco provides a comprehensive array of enduring investment solutions for retail, institutional and high-net-worth clients around the world. Operating in 20 countries, the company is currently listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol IVZ. Additional information is available at www.invesco.com.
There are risks involved with investing in ETFs including possible loss of money. Shares are not actively managed and are subject to risk similar to stocks and covered call options, as well as those risks related to short selling and margin maintenance.
Small- and Medium-Sized Company Risk Information
An investment in securities of small and medium-sized companies involves greater risk than is customarily associated with investing in more established, larger sized companies.
Foreign Risk Information
An investment in the securities of non-U.S. issuers involves risks beyond those associated with investments in U.S. securities, including, but not limited to: greater market volatility, the availability of less reliable financial information, higher transactional and custody costs, taxation by foreign governments, decreased market liquidity, political instability, negative impact of changes in currency exchange rates or foreign governmental regulation, currency risk, fluctuation due to changes in interest rates, effects of monetary policies issued by the United States, foreign governments, central banks or supranational entities and currency controls or other national or global political economic developments, among others.
Frontier Market Risk Information
An investment in securities of frontier countries involves risks not associated with investments in securities of developed countries, including, but not limited to: generally smaller economies or less developed capital markets than traditional emerging markets, economies that are less correlated to global economic cycles than those of their more developed counterparts, low trading volumes, potential for extreme price volatility and illiquidity, which may be further heightened by the actions of a few major investors, governments of many frontier countries in which the Fund invests may exercise substantial influence over many aspects of the private sector (in some cases, the governments of such frontier countries may own or control certain companies), government action, heavy dependency upon international trade which has been and may continue to be, adversely affected by trade barriers, exchange controls, managed adjustments in relative currency values and other protectionist measures imposed or negotiated by the countries with which they trade, and risks associated with certain foreign governments in countries in which the Fund invests levying withholding or other taxes on dividend and interest income, sanctions or embargoes imposed by the U.S. government and the United Nations and/or countries identified by the U.S. government as state sponsors of terrorism and foreign investment holdings limitations, among others.
Micro-Capitalization Company Risk Information
Investments in securities of micro-capitalization companies involve substantially greater risks of loss and price fluctuations because their earnings and revenues tend to be less predictable (and some companies may be experiencing significant losses), and their share prices tend to be more volatile and their markets less liquid than companies with larger market capitalizations.
Non-Diversified Fund & Industry Risk Information
The Fund is considered non-diversified and can invest a greater portion of assets in securities of individual issuers than a diversified fund. As a result, changes in the market value of a single investment could cause greater fluctuations in share price than would occur in a diversified fund. The economies of frontier country markets are less developed and can be overly reliant on particular industries. It is likely that a substantial number of stocks included in the Underlying Index for certain of the MENA frontier countries will be securities of banks and other financial institutions. When a Fund is focused in a specific industry or sector, it presents greater risks than if it were broadly diversified over numerous industries and sectors of the economy. Please read the prospectus for a summary of these risks pertaining to each industry or sector.
Tax Consequences of Redemption Proceeds Being Limited Primarily to Cash Risk Information
Unlike most exchange-traded funds, the Fund does not and currently intends to make primarily in-kind redemptions. As such the Fund may be required to sell portfolio securities in order to obtain the cash needed to distribute redemption proceeds. Generally, this will cause the Fund to recognize gain it might not otherwise have recognized, or to recognize such gain sooner than would otherwise be required, if it were able to distribute the shares primarily in-kind. Based on the U.S. federal income tax rules applicable to the fund and an investment in the Fund, this may cause particular shareholders to be subject to tax on gains they would not otherwise be subject to, or at an earlier date than, if they had made an investment in a different exchange-traded fund.
Participation Notes ("P-notes") and their Risks The Fund initially expects to invest up to 20% of its net assets in P-notes in seeking to track the performance of Kuwaiti securities included in the Underlying Index.
P-notes generally are issued by banks or broker-dealers and are promissory notes that are designed to offer a return linked to the performance of a particular underlying equity security or market. The return on a P-note that is linked to a particular underlying security generally is increased to the extent of any dividends paid in connection with the underlying security. However, the holder of a P-note typically does not receive voting rights as it would if it directly owned the underlying security. P-notes constitute direct, general and unsecured contractual obligations of the banks or broker-dealers that issue them, which therefore subjects the Fund to counterparty risk, as discussed below.
Investments in P-notes involve certain risks in addition to those associated with a direct investment in the underlying foreign companies or foreign securities markets whose return they seek to replicate. For instance, there can be no assurance that there will be a trading market for a P-note or that the trading price of a P-note will equal the underlying value of the foreign company or foreign securities market that it seeks to replicate. As the purchaser of a P-note, the Fund is relying on the creditworthiness of the counterparty issuing the P-note and has no rights under a P-note against the issuer of the underlying security. Therefore, if such counterparty were to become insolvent, the Fund would lose its investment. The risk that the Fund may lose its investments due to the insolvency of a counterparty may be amplified because the Fund intends to purchase P-notes issued by as few as one issuer. In seeking to limit its counterparty risk, the Fund will limit its investment in P-notes of any one issuer to $5 million at the time of purchase and to counterparties who meet the creditworthiness standard required of issuers whose securities are eligible for investment by money market funds. P-notes also include transaction costs in addition to those applicable to a direct investment in Kuwaiti securities. In addition, the Fund's use of P-notes may cause the Fund's performance to deviate from the performance of the portion of the Underlying Index to which the Fund is gaining exposure through the use of P-notes.
Due to liquidity and transfer restrictions, the secondary markets on which the P-notes are traded may be less liquid than the markets for other securities, or may be completely illiquid, which may lead to the absence of readily available market quotations for securities in the Fund's portfolio and which may also lead to delays in the redemption of Fund Shares. In addition, the ability of the Fund to value its securities becomes more difficult and the judgment in the application of fair value procedures (through fair value procedures adopted by the Trustees) may play a greater role in the valuation of the Fund's securities due to reduced availability of reliable objective pricing data. Consequently, while such determinations will be made in good faith, it may nevertheless be more difficult for the Fund to accurately assign a daily value to such securities.
NASDAQ®, OMXTM and NASDAQ OMX Middle East North Africa Index(SM) are trade/service marks of The NASDAZ OMX Group, Inc. (which with its affiliates is referred to as the "Corporations") and are licensed for use by Invesco PowerShares. The Fund has not been passed on by the Corporations as to their legality or suitability. The Fund is not issued, endorsed, sold or promoted by the Corporations. THE CORPORATIONS MAKE NO WARRANTIES AND BEAR NO LIABILITY WITH RESPECT TO THE FUND.
Shares are not FDIC insured, may lose value and have no bank guarantee.
Shares are not individually redeemable and owners of the shares may acquire those shares from the Fund and tender those shares for redemption to the Fund in Creation Unit aggregations only, typically consisting of 100,000 shares.
Invesco Aim Distributors, Inc. is the distributor of the PowerShares Exchange-Traded Fund Trust II.
Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC and Invesco Aim Distributors, Inc. are indirect, wholly owned subsidiaries of Invesco Ltd.
An investor should consider the Fund's investment objective, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. For a copy of the prospectus, which contains this and other information about the Fund, call 800.983.0903 or visit our website www.invescopowershares.com. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing.