This is part one of a two-part series on BRIC alternatives.RSX) and Market Vectors Vietnam ( VNM).
Shares of VNM provide exposure to publicly traded companies that are domiciled and primarily listed in Vietnam and which generate at least 50% of their revenues from Vietnam. Also included in the portfolio are non-Vietnamese companies that generate, or are expected to generate, at least 50% of their revenues from Vietnam, or that demonstrate a significant and/or dominant position in the Vietnamese market and are expected to grow. The three largest sectors represented by the portfolio are financials, energy and materials, with 36.7%, 19.1% and 12.3% allocations, respectively. Market Vectors Vietnam, launched earlier this year, is the first strictly Vietnam ETF for U.S. investors. Since this ETF is so new, trading volume is still low. The combination of low trading volume and Vietnam's total market capitalization of about $20 billion, could make this fund particularly volatile for ETF investors. Risk-tolerant, emerging-market investors may still want to consider easing their way into VNM in the months to come. Vietnam's economy could be the next China story, and while its smaller population of nearly 90 million means it will never grow to the earthshaking size of China's economy, half of Vietnam's population is under the age of 25. A young population and tremendous growth potential make VNM an ETF to watch. -- Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.