NEW YORK (TheStreet) - The BRIC acronym represents the most sought-after countries in the developing world. However, beyond Brazil, Russia, India, and China lay a diverse collection of attractive alternative emerging countries which offer plenty of investment opportunities as well.
ETF providers have noticed the promise that lie in emerging markets outside of the BRIC goliaths and have designed a bevy of products designed to targeting their respective strengths.
On a number of occasions I have attempted to present investors with fund options aimed at capturing the promise of less publicized components of Latin America and Asia. Some favorites have included the
iShares MSCI Chile Investable Market Index Fund
iShares MSCI Taiwan Index Fund
In the opening months of 2011, Global X unveiled a new pair of funds which make investing beyond the BRICs simpler than ever. Although in 2010 the company rose in popularity for the successful launches of commodity producer-focused funds such as the
Global X Silver Miners ETF
Global X Lithium ETF
, and the
Global X Uranium ETF
, more recently it has gotten back to its roots -- producing products which target previously unexplored regions of the globe.
Rather than targeting individual nations, the
Global X FTSE Andean 40 ETF
Global X FTSE ASEA 40 ETF
employ investing strategies aimed at profiting from emerging market regions outside of the BRIC nations.
As its name implies, AND's index is comprised of 40 of the strongest and most stable companies from nations in the Andean region of Latin America. The fund's geographic breakdown weighs heavily towards Chile, which represents nearly half of its index. The remaining 50% of AND's assets are divided relatively equally across Peruvian and Colombian companies.
Latin American commodity giants including
Cia de Minas Buenaventura
(EC) are among AND's largest positions and highlight the fund's noticeable lean towards resource producers. Together, these three firms account for more than 20% of the fund's total portfolio.
Whereas AND targets a basket of non-BRIC nations from South America, ASEA's index is focused on BRIC alternatives in Asia. Nations represented by this fund include Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines.
Financials represent the largest sector slices of ASEA's index, making up over 40% of its assets. Telecom and Industrials are also heavily represented, with up to 15% slices each. Top holdings include DBS Group Holdings, Oversea-Chinese Banking, and Singapore Telecom.
It is important to note that as of Feb. 22, a U.S. dollar money market account, Brown Brothers Sweep, commanded a substantial percentage of ASEA's index. In speaking with a Global X representative, however, I was informed that this was only a temporary position. I will be keeping a close watch on ASEA over the next few days to see how the fund's underlying holdings are altered.
ASEA and AND are two attractive new Asian and Latin American emerging market options that internationally minded investors will want to keep on their radars. However, for now I urge investors to use caution before diving in. As with any new product, these two funds will likely take time to gain steam and in the meantime, investors will be vulnerable to illiquidity and volatility.
Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.
At the time of publication, Dion Money Management owned the iShares MSCI Taiwan Index Fund.
This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.