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5 Country ETFs Focused on Financials

By Eric Dutram of ETF Database

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- As sovereign debt issues drag down the once mighty euro, markets around the world have slumped as speculation continues to swirl over which countries are likely headed toward default.

Decades of wild spending have compounded with a shaky economy and costly bailouts to put many countries on the brink of fiscal catastrophe. While the $1 trillion European bailout has highlighted the seriousness of the problem, it has done little to solve it; eventually, countries will have to default or quickly scale down their levels of debt.

This focus on debt markets has once again put a strain on the financial sector; banks arguably have the most to lose from a sovereign default or a sharp recession caused by government belt tightening. When some investors seek international equity exposure through ETFs, they assume that such an investment gives them well diversified exposure to the local economy. But that isn't always the case.

While the S&P 500 SPDR (SPY) allocates about 16% of its assets to financials, some ETFs focusing on a single country can have more than 40% of holdings in the often-volatile sector. Below we profile five ETFs that focus on specific countries and have a disproportionate amount of assets in financial firms.

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