New York-based asset manager Van Eck Global has launched Market Vectors Colombia ETF (NYSE Arca: COLX), a new exchange-traded fund (ETF) designed for investors seeking direct, targeted exposure to Colombian equities.

“Investors have long looked to emerging markets for short- and long-term growth opportunities. However, in making their emerging market allocations investors are looking beyond BRIC nations, which in recent history have been among the most popular destinations for investor dollars,” said Jan van Eck, principal with Van Eck Global. “With that in mind, we’re pleased to offer investors a way to access the domestic equity performance of Colombia, a country with significant commodity production capabilities, a recent track record of substantial political reform, and rapidly developing cross-border and cross-exchange cooperation with its neighbors which could spur positive momentum for both that country and the Andean region as a whole.”

COLX seeks to replicate, before fees and expenses, the performance of the Market Vectors Colombia Index (MVCOLXTR), created by 4AssetManagement. MVCOLXTR is a “pure play” index that not only includes local companies domiciled and listed on the Colombian exchange, but also offshore companies that derive the majority of their assets (revenues) in the country. As of March 10, 2011, approximately 74 percent of the equities in the Index were local Colombian companies, while the remainder were listed offshore. The comprehensive nature of the Index, combined with its weighting caps, leads to greater diversification by sector and market cap. Its 27 holdings are made up of approximately 51 percent large-cap equities, 36 percent mid-cap equities, and 13 percent small-caps. As of March 10, the largest sector weightings were Financials (33 percent), Energy (30 percent), and Materials (17 percent). [Transparent, daily index information is available on the Van Eck Global website.]

Colombia is South America’s second largest country and the world’s third largest Spanish-speaking nation by population. A beneficiary of strong commodity price trends, the country has enjoyed improved exports and credit expansion. Fiscal reforms and reduced government debt under former President Alvaro Uribe have opened the country to international investment. GDP growth, led by domestic consumption, was estimated at 4.7% (GDP, %YoY) for 2010 and is anticipated to be approximately 4.6% in 2011.

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