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The best way to play Africa for many years was via South African companies as they dominate the region, have the best funding and are domiciled in the most advanced economy in the continent. But a more direct play would be this AFK ETF, which is similar to investing in an African Index fund. Considering that GDP per capita is very low in most African countries and is growing rapidly from a small base, I expect that this ETF will do well over time.
Vietnam is like China 20 years ago. The Market Vectors Vietnam ETF ( VNM) is the only listed Vietnamese investment in the U.S. market. Vietnam is a remarkable growth story as GDP compounded at 7% a year over the past decade and the country never entered a recession in 2009. The labor force adds roughly 1 million workers per year, which is why the government is determined to continue its pro-growth policies. Other countries in the region that offer similar growth characteristics, but are even less developed than Vietnam, are Laos and Cambodia. Vietnam's stock market did not do much in 2010, but there are signs that 2011 is starting off on the right foot. Moody's downgraded the country's debt rating in December, but the stock market rallied after a sovereign debt downgrade, which is a sign that stocks have digested all the bad news and the market is looking forward to better times. Related Article: The government has made commitments to address the trade deficit and the relatively low level of foreign investment inflows which are necessary for the economy to pick up steam. Judging by the stock market reaction to the debt downgrade, it appears that investors believe those commitments. 4 Aerospace & Defense Duds to Sell Related Article: The Russian market carries the highest leverage to commodity prices, yet on days where oil and other resources saw large corrections in January, the Russian market held up very well. This is very different action to what I have been used to seeing before. I think that by allowing BP ( BP) to make a large investment in the Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft, the government has signaled Why Social Security Taxes a Good 'Investment' For Americans a major change in its attitude toward foreign investors in the resources sector. If this change in course by the Russian government continues, the Russian valuation discount to the other BRIC markets may close. That makes the Market Vectors Russia ETF ( RSX) a beneficiary of what looks to be a long-term trend.