New York-based asset manager Van Eck Global has launched Market Vectors India Small-Cap Index ETF (NYSE Arca: SCIF), an open-end exchange-traded fund (ETF) to provide investors with exposure to small-cap stocks in India, it was announced today. The fund will seek to track the Market Vectors™ India Small-Cap Index, which had a large base of 122 constituents and an average market capitalization of $456M, as of July 31, 2010. “We are very excited to add SCIF to our growing lineup of emerging market small-cap ETFs,” said Jan van Eck, Principal at Van Eck Global. “It continues to be our strong belief that small-cap stocks are an excellent way to gain direct exposure to a country’s domestic economy. India, in particular, has exhibited demographic and economic factors that support strong continued domestic growth for years to come.” Since undertaking economic liberalization policies in 1991, India has achieved significant economic growth and has quickly integrated into the global marketplace. The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) has remained strong in recent years, with real GDP growth registering 7.3 percent in 2008 and 5.6 percent in 2009, two years in which most Asian economies contracted. Indian small-cap stocks are supported by one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing domestic consumer markets, with a demographic profile that is skewed toward the young. India’s rapidly growing middle class is projected to triple in size over the next 15 years, making it twice the size of the entire U.S. population. With sustained foreign direct investment in previous years and continued decreases in unemployment, growing wealth among India’s population is expected to fuel demand for discretionary goods, services and homebuilding. In addition, India’s government has already invested substantial amounts in the country’s much needed infrastructure build-out, which has served as a fiscal stimulus further driving the country’s economic growth.