The iShares MSCI Brazil ETF (EWZ) is the largest non-U.S., single-country ETF, with about $10.5 billion in assets under management as of this writing -- up $1 billion in about a year's time and growing all the time. The fund covers mostly large-caps and Brazil's biggest-name brands, and it is a great way to give investors exposure to the booming market. Its popularity speaks of how highly Wall Street thinks of Brazil.
And if you're a super Brazil Bull, there's even a leveraged ETF just for Brazil, the ProShares Ultra MSCI Brazil Fund (UBR) that seeks to deliver 200% of the daily performance of the MSCI Brazil Index -- but obviously this is a much more aggressive play.
Emerging-Markets Stocks With Consumer CloutPerhaps the biggest appeal of Brazil on a broad-based tack is that stocks have some built-in growth as the rise of the middle class in the region continues to lift stocks that are considered dead money in the U.S.
Take beverage giant Companhia de Bebidas das Americas (ABV), or Ambev for short. This beverage giant is a consumer staples stock that in America would normally be considered a sleepy play that is conservative and recession-proof but not altogether sexy. Yet Ambev boasts explosive growth potential. Its second-quarter net profit leaped 20% according to ABV earnings a few weeks ago. And share prices are up more than 7% so far in 2011 and over 50% in the past 12 months -- compared with a slight loss for the Dow since January and only 11% gains in the past 12 months.
Although other consumer staples stocks like Coca-Cola (KO) also have outperformed the market -- a slight gain in 2011 and about 20% returns in the last year -- they still are well behind the "sleepy" staples stocks of Brazil.