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Whatever Happened to the Global Small-Cap Oil ETF?


With many people feeling skittish about oil stocks, there are now some worthwhile oil ETFs trading at attractive, almost bargain bin prices.

These days, it seems everywhere investors turn, there's an excuse not to be involved with oil ETFs. That goes for the equity-based ones, too. Whether it's because of China, Europe, or the US, there have been ample reasons to be skittish about oil stocks and ETFs in recent weeks.

The other side of that coin is there are now some worthwhile oil ETFs trading at attractive, almost bargain bin prices. Perhaps one of them is the IQ Global Oil Small Cap Equity ETF (IOIL), a 61-stock ETF that made its debut in May.

Since its debut, the IQ Global Oil Small Cap Equity ETF has managed to haul in almost $1.7 million in assets under management, but average daily volume is light at 1,800 shares. In fact, just 330 shares in IQ Global changed hands on Monday.

Those statistics aren't going to win any ETF beauty pageants, but IQ Global still has a story to tell. If nothing else, the ETF is unique in the world of equity-based oil funds. Most of these funds are heavy on either US- or Europe-based exploration and production companies or US-based services providers.

Yes, the US and Canada combine for 61% of IQ Global's weight, but good luck finding another oil ETF with 6.5% exposure to Thailand. Or any exposure at all to Finland. And good luck finding an oil ETF that allocates over 43% of its weight to refiners. That just doesn't happen very often. Speaking of refiners, HollyFrontier (HFC) and Tesoro (TSO) account for 14% of IQ Global's weight.

And speaking of takeover targets, IQ Global has a few of them, including Lufkin Industries (LUFK). Overall, IQ Global has an interesting potpourri of lesser-known yet not always small-cap oil stocks that are just as levered to oil prices as their bigger counterparts.

Looking at the chart, IQ Global is in the proverbial no man's land right now. Downside risk is to $13, but significant upside can be had if the ETF cracks resistance just below $18. For now, it's probably best to stay on the sidelines but not forget about this ETF.

Bull case: Oil prices resume their up move and energy sector mergers and acquisitions see a brisk pace in 2012.

Bear case: Global economies weaken and investors depart all small-caps, regardless of sector.

Editor's Note: This content was originally published on by The ETF Professor.

Below, find some more great ETF and market content from Benzinga:

By Matthew Kennedy
By Daniel James Hayden IV
By Joel Morehouse

Twitter: @Benzinga

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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