Egypt’s political crisis has disrupted its financial markets along with ETFs linked to Egyptian stocks. 

Because Egypt’s banks and stock markets were closed in late January due to political unrest, Van Eck Global exercised its right to suspend creation orders of Market Vectors Egypt Index ETF (EGPT), and it outlined this step in a January 31 press release..

This follows the firm’s normal policy of suspending creation orders when the underlying market is closed for an extended period, thereby helping to prevent the costs of creation activity to be borne by existing shareholders.

EGPT was launched in February 2010 and currently has around $11 million in assets. The Egypt ETF tracks a small index of 27 publicly traded Egyptian stocks like Orascom Construction, Commercial International Bank and TMG Holding.

Other Middle East focused ETFs like the Market Vectors Africa Index ETF (AFK) and SPDR S&P Emerging Middle East & Africa ETF (GAF) were higher in today’s U.S. trading session.

AFK has around 20% of its overall market exposure to Egyptian stocks and the fund is linked to the Dow Jones Africa Titans 50 Index. In 2010, AFK climbed 25.27% in value.

GAF has the bulk of its assets tied to South African stocks with just 6% market exposure to Egyptian stocks. Over the past year, GAF has risen by 29.35%.

Redemption orders for the Market Vectors Egypt Index ETF will continue to be accepted as described in EGPT’s prospectus.

The fund expects to resume normal operations once the Egyptian Stock Exchange reopens.