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Sick of BRIC? ETF Alternatives, Part 1

Stocks in this article: RSX VNM

This is part one of a two-part series on BRIC alternatives.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- For many ETF investors, the term "emerging market" brings to mind BRIC funds like iShares MSCI BRIC (BKF), Claymore/BNY BRIC (EEB) and SPDR S&P BRIC 40 (BIK).

While the BRIC combination of Brazil, Russia, India and China has long been the gold standard of emerging-market investing, other contenders are beginning to enter the field.

Single-country ETFs are allowing investors new access to emerging economies around the globe. In addition to still-strong Russia, Vietnam, Thailand, Turkey and South Korea also provide growth opportunities for the risk-tolerant investor.

In this two-part series, we will examine these single-country funds and their potential for the ETF investor. Today we will focus on Market Vectors Russia (RSX) and Market Vectors Vietnam (VNM).

Market Vectors Russia

This fund is Russia, by itself. Investors should see this country, and this fund, as an energy play. While OPEC nations battle about production cuts, Russia surpassed Saudi Arabia in crude oil production during the second quarter of 2009. During this period, daily exports from Russia grew to 7.4 million barrels while Saudi shipments fell by 7 million per day.

RSX is a good play for investors who want to take advantage of Russia's oil opportunities. RSX comprisies publicly traded companies that are domiciled in Russia and traded in Russia and/or on leading global exchanges. The largest sector represented in the fund's portfolio is oil and gas, with a 42.6% allocation.

Year to date, RSX is up more than 92%. As Russia battles the corruption that has plagued its economy, this fund may have even more room to run.

Market Vectors Vietnam

Vietnam may have the potential to be the next China, and the global supply chain is already several years into a shift from China to Vietnam. As China's economy continues to grow, Vietnam has stepped in as the new destination for the type of low-cost manufacturing that helped to make China so successful. (See Vietnam ETF: Way to Play Booming Nation .)

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