Infrastructure ETF Picks Best of BRICs

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Two new exchange traded funds and one closed-end fund that have received initial ratings of "buy" bet on global equities, but in different regions of the world.

The most impressive of the three funds, PowerShares Emerging Markets Infrastructure Portfolio ( PXR), returned 98% in the 12 months through October.

As countries around the world stimulate their economies by investing in infrastructure, the PowerShares Emerging Markets Infrastructure Portfolio cleaned up by holding stocks of the S-Network Emerging Infrastructure Builders Index. The fund's concentration of BRIC stocks -- those in Brazil, Russia, India and China -- performed particularly well, with Brazil's Cia Siderurgica Nacional SA ( SID), Russia's Mechel ( MTL), Sterlite Industries India ( SLT) and China's Jiangxi Copper ( JIXAY) more than tripling.

Top U.S. holdings include Caterpillar ( CAT), KBR ( KBR) and Fluor ( FLR).

The other ETF, First Trust ISE Global Engineering & Construction Index Fund ( FLM), gained 50% over the one-year period. The fund focuses more on the rebuilding of developed economies, with 25% of assets in U.S. stocks, 17% in Japan, 9.3% in France, 8.1% in the Netherlands and 6.9% in Spain. Three of the fund's best-performing U.S.-traded holdings are McDermott International ( MDR), Chicago Bridge & Iron ( CBI) and The Shaw Group ( SHAW).

TheStreet.com Ratings initiated coverage of one closed-end fund this month. The Morgan Stanley Frontier Emerging Markets Fund ( FFD) turned in a one-year gain of 20%. The portfolio has Middle Eastern, African and an eclectic mix of companies from around the world. With heavy concentrations of banks, telecoms, and oil and gas stocks, the countries targeted include 14% Qatar, 11% Kuwait, 9.2% Nigeria, 6.9% Bangladesh and 6% Kenya.

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Kevin Baker became the senior financial analyst for TSC Ratings upon the August 2006 acquisition of Weiss Ratings by TheStreet.com, covering mutual funds. He joined the Weiss Group in 1997 as a banking and brokerage analyst. In 1999, he created the Weiss Group's first ratings to gauge the level of risk in U.S. equities. Baker received a B.S. degree in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.B.A. with a finance specialization from Nova Southeastern University.