The envelope please ... - TheStreet

The year 2001 was a dreadful one for stock markets. The Dow Jones Global Index, which does not include United States markets, dropped by 21.02%, its steepest slide in a decade. After the shock of the September 11 terror attacks on the U.S., most markets climbed vigorously ¿ but not by enough to compensate for the preceding bust.

Key exchanges in London, Paris, Frankfurt and Asia ended the year about 20% down. But not all markets were infected by the blues. Some ended 2001 with green screens, and some even posted enviable returns.

The KOSPI - Korea Composite Stock Market Index ¿ rewarded its faithful with 37.5% gains. Russia's RTS climbed by 80%. As the Turkish economy reeled, stocks traded in Istanbul ended up 46%. Mexico's IPC finished the year 13% higher, thanks to an influx of foreign investment.

In short, anybody linking their investments to the Dow Jones emerging markets index did better than if they'd indexed to the developed markets index.

For the sake of comparison, Israel's Maof-25 index of the top 25 stocks (by market cap and other criteria) ended 2001 down 10.41%.

Naturally, not all the emerging markets ended the year with a bang. Argentine stocks took a beating, with the MerVal losing 29% as the country sank into fiscal crisis. Its travails infected neighboring Brazil, which saw its stock market tumble 11%, in terms of the local currency.