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PowerShares Fund Invests in 'Ascendancy'

I have had my eye on an ETF that is finally coming to the market, the PowerShares Emerging Market Infrastructure Portfolio (PXR), which tracks the S-Network Emerging Infrastructure Builders Index.

There are plenty of emerging market funds. One reason they are so popular is the ascendancy aspect to the countries in which the companies are doing business. A fund that focuses on infrastructure in emerging markets would seem to isolate the ascendancy aspect in a manner that iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) does not. EEM has a 19% weighting in financial stocks.

PXR is not a pure-play emerging market fund. There is some developed market exposure. The focus is companies participating in the build-up and build-out of infrastructure projects around the world. Estimates for spending on needed projects encompass a wide range, but, suffice it to say, trillions of dollars will be spent in the next 10 to 15 years.

The sector breakdown is simple: 49.5% materials, 48 industrials and 2.5% utilities. Materials includes a lot of mining stocks like Vale (RIO) and Norilsk Nickel (NILSY), which dig the needed resources out of the ground, and even companies like Taiwan Cement, whose role in infrastructure building is obvious.

The industrial stocks in the fund include engineers such as ABB (ABB) and equipment makers like Caterpillar. These companies design and build all of the bridges, toll roads and sewer systems that infrastructure is all about.

The country weightings favor China, 15%, Russia, 11.4%, Brazil, 10.9%, and the U.S., 8.6%. I would also note that India makes up 5.6%. With the BRIC countries comprising 42.8% of the fund, there is a lot of overlap with BRIC ETFs. And quite a few of the broad-based emerging market funds like EEM.

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