Posted on 05 November 2011.
If you’re looking for one area of the exchange-traded products arena that has seen both exponential growth in terms of assets and number of products that has the potential to really add to those lofty totals, look no further than emerging markets ETFs. To say the emerging markets ETF space is popular is an understatement. Two of the 10 largest U.S.-listed ETFs by assets are emerging markets.
We’re talking about the Vanguard MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSE: VWO) and the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund (NYSE: EEM). Combined, those two funds had more than $67 billion in assets under management as of the end of September 2011, according to data from the National Stock Exchange.
And while EEM and VWO are the biggest funds on the emerging markets ETF block, they are from the only ones.
Starting with the BRIC quartet, Brazil, Russia, India, China, investors have a slew of emerging markets ETFs to pick from. In fact, there are over 300 ETFs offering exposure to those markets alone. Don’t stop with the statistics there as there are nearly 160 ETFs offering exposure to China.
When it comes to popular emerging markets ETFs that track specific countries, we’re at the point where all investors need to do is name a country and there’s a good chance there’s an emerging markets ETF tracking that country. However, the standard-bearers, at least in terms of size, are the iShares/FTSE China 25 Index Fund (NYSE: FXI), the iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund (NYSE: EWZ), the iShares MSCI South Korea Index Fund (NYSE: EWY) and the iShares MSCI Taiwan Index Fund. Just to name a few.
It’s probably not fair to characterize these emerging markets ETFs as “obscure” because they are hefty in their own right and they give investors emerging market ETF options beyond BRIC. For the investor looking for an emerging markets ETF with non-China Asia exposure, the Market Vectors Indonesia ETF (NYSE: IDX) and the iShares Thailand Investable Market Index Fund (NYSE: THD) are two funds to consider.
Moving away from Asia, the Market Vectors Russia ETF (NYSE: RSX) and the Market Vectors Poland ETF (NYSE: PLND) will get you exposure to emerging Europe. Heading south of the border, Latin America has a slew of emerging market ETF options that do NOT involve Brazil. The iShares MSCI Chile Investable Market Index Fund (NYSE: ECH), the iShares MSCI Peru All Capped Index Fund (NYSE: EPU) and the Global X FTSE Colombia 20 ETF (NYSE: GXG) are a few of the ETFs that will you get involved in the emerging markets ETF game in Latin America.
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