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TheStreet Open House

Broad ETF Makes Surprisingly Narrow Bets

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Emerging Global Shares joined the exchanged traded fund scene earlier this summer with two game enhancing (as opposed to game changing) ETFs that invest in developing markets. This week, it introduced a third, the Emerging Global Shares Dow Jones Emerging Markets Titans Composite Index Fund (EEG).

This fund, one of 11 developing-markets funds that Emerging Global Shares plans to launch, aims to invest more broadly. It will compete with the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund (EFA), the Vanguard Emerging Markets ETF (VWO), the WisdomTree Emerging Markets Equity Income Fund (DEM) and the PowerShares FTSE RAFI Emerging Markets Portfolio (PXH).

Emerging Global Shares has been trying to differentiate itself by introducing international funds that invest in specific sectors. So why is it introducing a composite fund when there are already so many vying for investor dollars? Emerging market exposure at the sector level will help a lot of people, but this fund invests more narrowly than one would expect based on its title.

The Emerging Global Shares fund's underlying index allocates 20% of its assets to both China and Brazil, 18% to India and 14% to Russia -- so-called "BRIC" countries. That doesn't leave much room for other places. In contrast, other funds usually have large allocations to South Korea, Taiwan and Malaysia.

Energy and financial stocks account for half of the fund's assets, a larger weighting than competing funds. Given the country weights, this shouldn't be shocking. Some of the largest stocks in China and Russia are oil companies.

The ETF's largest holding, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, accounts for 8% of assets. If you're considering buying shares of the fund, it would be wise to do some research about such a big holding.

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