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Market Vectors ETF Trust announced today that it has launched the Market Vectors Israel ETF (NYSE Arca: ISRA), an exchange-traded fund (ETF) designed to provide investors with broad exposure to Israel’s dynamic equity market.
“Israel is uniquely positioned to offer investors emerging market growth characteristics with a developed market approach to economic management,” said Amrita Bagaria, ETF Product Manager with Market Vectors. “The country has a vibrant economy with broad sector representation. With that in mind, we have selected an index for ISRA that best represents the Israeli market and captures the full spectrum of economic growth potential.”
ISRA seeks to replicate as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield performance of the BlueStar Israel Global Index (BLSTR), a rules-based index of Israeli and Israeli-linked companies intended to track the overall performance of the largest and most liquid companies, as well as mid-cap and small-cap companies that display sufficient liquidity. To qualify for inclusion in BLSTR, a company must be listed, domiciled, or founded in Israel, or it must generate the majority of its revenues in Israel. Stocks in the index generally trade on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange but also include Israeli-domiciled companies listed outside of the country.
“In designing the Index, we wanted to set a high bar for inclusion,” said Steven Schoenfeld of BlueStar Global Investors LLC. “It was important that each constituent have a deep involvement in Israel’s growth. We believe we’ve been able to accomplish that, and we are pleased to provide the underlying index for ISRA.”
As of June 24, 2013, the Index’s top three sectors were Information Technology (representing 29.9 percent of the holdings), Health Care (26.3 percent) and Financials (19.1 percent).
Market Vectors noted that an investment of this kind is not without risks, including those associated with investments in foreign securities, in particular Israeli issuers, which include, among others, greater market volatility, the availability of less reliable financial information, higher transactional and custody costs, taxation by foreign governments, decreased market liquidity, and political instability, including territorial disputes, historical animosities, or security concerns, and heavy dependence upon trade relationships.