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3 'Real' Emerging Markets to Invest In

The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

By Robert Hsu, InvestorPlace.com

NEW YORK (InvestorPlace) -- Many emerging markets have witnessed rapid growth and drawn much investor attention over the past few years. In fact, some may say that markets such as China and India have largely "emerged." So which emerging markets are truly emerging?

The Egyptian riots are still front-page news, and many investors have fretted over how this would affect global markets. I have to say that events there have been quite interesting to watch, as the inevitable fall of Mubarak has the potential to bring many changes in that part of the world.

Considering that the protests have continued for more than a week, it's no surprise that international equity markets have been somewhat rattled. It's hard for investors to escape the flurry of non-stop news reports and pundit discussions about Egypt's future governance and the impact a new government is going to have on the Middle East and the rest of the world.

The 20% selloff and subsequent 10% spike higher in the Market Vectors Egypt ETF (EGPT) -- the only U.S.-listed Egypt-only ETF -- may be difficult to stomach, and the volatility there is likely to remain high as the situation on the ground is still fluid. Currently, the situation in Egypt is too chaotic to assess properly with regard to equities tied to the country, though there may be a buying opportunity here in the near future.

For now, the Egyptian situation is impacting other regional funds, and I'm seeing some interesting opportunities in three specific emerging market exchange traded funds.

Emerging Market #1 - Africa

The Egyptian turmoil caused a selloff in another ETF that holds great promise --the Market Vectors Africa Index ETF (AFK). Egyptian companies comprise 20.5% of that ETF, the second-heaviest weighting after South Africa (28.9%).

Other well-represented countries are Nigeria at 16.5% and Morocco at 1.1%. The best thing about this ETF is that it offers access to companies and markets in Africa that otherwise will be very difficult to reach for individual investors.

Most African markets -- save for Egypt and South Africa -- are referred to as frontier markets. Frontier is a term that signifies an earlier level of development than most emerging markets.

Stock quotes in this article: EGPT, AFK, VNM, RSX 

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