2 emerging-market ETFs with style

Global X debuts a pair of broad, style-specific funds, each with a different approach to tracking growth in developing economies.

By TheStreet Staff Jan 27, 2011 12:27PM

Image: Globe (© image100/Corbis)By Don Dion, TheStreet


Emerging markets remain attractive regions of the globe for internationally minded investors. Now with the launch of two new products, investors can gain exposure to this slice of the geographic pie from a style perspective.


Global X has become a particularly exciting member of the ETF industry to watch. Although this fund sponsor initially generated a following within the ETF industry with its collection of international products that tap into previously unexplored corners of the globe, more recently it has expanded its overall focus, attracting crowds of commodity-hungry investors with the release of precious and base metal-related miner funds, including the Global X Silver Miners ETF (SIL) and the Global X Uranium ETF (URA).


With the launch of the Global X Russell Emerging Market Growth ETF (EMGX) and the Global X Russell Emerging Market Value ETF (EMVX), Global X has once again returned to its international roots. However, for Global X, these  funds highlight an interesting new focus.


From a larger, industry perspective, the launch of EMGX and EMVX can also be viewed as a harbinger for ETF investors.

Because they have typically focused on small, concentrated slices of the global marketplace, Global X's earlier products are often best suited for small niche positions in an individual's well-diversified portfolio. With the launch of these broad, style-specific emerging-market funds, the company appears to be taking aim at the core portion of an individual's portfolio.


As they attempt to gather steam, EMGX and EMVX will face staggering competition from other broad-based emerging-market funds. This includes major industry players such as Vanguard Emerging Market ETF (VWO) and iShares MSCI Emerging Market Index Fund (EEM). Both EMGX and EMVX will carry a 0.69% expense ratio, making them more costly than VWO, though equal to EEM.


Also, from a big-picture perspective, the introduction of EMGX and EMVX opens the door to the realm of emerging-market ETFs.

ETFs have made it easy for investors to target the strengths and growth potential of emerging markets and other attractive global players. While investors can use funds like iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund (EWZ) and iShares MSCI France Index Fund (EWQ) to target the broad markets of specific nations as the demand for international exposure has grown, fund companies such as Global X have developed new and increasingly unique tools designed to target the markets outside of the U.S. borders.

The style-specific strategies utilized by these new funds highlight another previously unexplored opportunity for the international ETF universe.


If EMGX and EMVX prove popular, it may be only a matter of time before other industry players such as Vanguard, BlackRock (BLK) and State Street (SST) follow suit with their own style-oriented international products.


Emerging markets have become a wildly popular investing destination, and Global X's new funds offer investors a unique way to access their strengths. However, it is important to remember that because of the Darwinian nature of the ETF industry, the future of these funds remain uncertain.


Before jumping into either EMGX or EMVX, investors should keep a close watch on the funds' growth. The next few weeks will be crucial in determining their long-term prospects.


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