It may not be an Olympic event, but when it comes to attracting cash from investors in exchange-traded funds, Japan and China are taking home the medals.

Buyers have poured almost $800 million into U.S.-listed ETFs tracking international equities this year through Feb. 20, according to Bloomberg data. That’s a 4.3 percent jump in the strategies’ market capitalization, compared to a 0.3 percent rise in the market cap of funds tracking domestic equities.

The trend is even more pronounced in fixed-income. ETFs tracking international bonds have seen their market cap grow by almost 8 percent this year, while funds tracking U.S. bonds have increased just 0.8 percent, the data show.

Whether your attention has been partially diverted by international sport or not, it’s hard not to have noticed the recent stock swoon. And amid U.S. equity volatility, investors have paid special attention to single country plays abroad.

"Volatility starts to put money in motion as people look for more opportunities, for the next big idea," said Jay Jacobs, director of research for Global X Management Co. "The recent volume spike could introduce more movement of capital and the direction we’ve seen is more internationally."

The iShares MSCI Japan ETF, known by its ticker EWJ, has taken in more than $3 billion this year -- that’s already five times more than what investors put in all of last year. Similarly, buyers have poured about $405 million into the iShares MSCI China ETF (ticker MCHI) this year, compared to outflows of more than $250 million last year.

"The performance, valuations and earnings growth in these markets is hard to ignore, and it’s increasingly harder for investors to justify a position that isn’t overweight to Japan and China, " said Tushar Yadava, iShares investment strategist at BlackRock Inc.

That’s not all. Investors may also want to consider areas of the world with ongoing reform momentum, as those countries tend to outperform peers, he said. Brazil and South Africa are two markets where economic reforms are not fully priced in, there is accelerating GDP growth, strong expected earnings growth, and significant potential for political catalysts, according to Yadava.

The strongest investor interest for Global X country strategies has been in a fund tracking Greek equities, Jacobs said. The Global X MSCI Greece ETF (ticker GREK) is the only U.S.-listed fund with exposure to the country, seeing almost $55 million in inflows this year.

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