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Save Darfur, Win Big

The Darfur divestment campaign is steadily gaining traction, and exchange-traded funds are continually slicing the investment universe into ever smaller segments in an effort to set themselves apart.

So it was only a matter of time before someone launched an ETF that seeks to tap into the American public's concern about the genocide under way in this region of Sudan.

Claymore Securities, which has turned some very offbeat ideas into ETFs, has beaten everyone to the punch. The Claymore/KLD Sudan Free Large-Cap Core (KSF) made its debut on the American Stock Exchange Monday with an initial offering price of $25.

The fund, which has an expense ratio of 0.5%, closed down 30 cents to $24.70 on its first day of trading.

The launch comes as some very large investors have been under pressure from activists to unload their holdings in two Chinese oil companies, PetroChina (PTR) and China Petroleum and Chemical (SNP), that do business in Sudan.

For the past four years, Sudan has enacted a scorched earth campaign against the people living in its Darfur region. The conflict has claimed more than 400,000 lives, and sent 2.3 million people fleeing their homes. Another 1 million Darfuris remain in their villages under constant threat of death.

China is the biggest foreign investor in Sudan's oil industry, and activists hope that divestment will encourage PetroChina and China Petroleum to stop doing business in the country.

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