With the current market turmoil, investors with longer-termed portfolios can find some interesting bargains if they are willing to take the risk. Europe and the euro have been shunned by investors looking to purge their portfolios of risk. While countries like Spain, iShares MSCI Spain Index (NYSE EWP) and Italy, iShares MSCI Italy Index (NYSE: EWI) currently represent some of the most risky investing opportunities on the continent, emerging eastern Europe, might be some of the more interesting.

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Long-Term Opportunity
As traditional Europe remains quagmire in debt, many nations in emerging Eastern Europe simply have less debt, relative to GDP. This manageable debt combined with growth stemming from domestic spending and internal growth has helped the region hold up better during the financial crisis. In addition, several countries within the region are European Union (E.U.) members, but have not adopted the euro as their currency. This has allowed them to keep control of their monetary policy. Finally, higher oil prices have buoyed many of the commodity-rich nations within the region, allowing for petro-dollars to replenish nations current accounts.

Adding Exposure to the Region
Eastern Europe symbolizes a long-term play, and investors should allocate some capital towards the region. The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Eastern Europe Index (NYSE:ESR) invests in a broad portfolio in the region. Investors may want to invest in a portfolio of individual Eastern Europe nations (including Russia) which are poised for growth.

Poland represents a unique economy that has benefited from a surge in domestic spending and a limited exposure to exports. The Market Vectors Poland ETF (Nasdaq:PLND) follows 28 of Poland's largest companies with financials accounting for 40% of the fund. Turkey is attractive, due to its thriving manufacturing base and expanding consumer confidence. The Turkish economy is also expected to expand by 4% through 2010. This, combined with a strong monetary stimulus policy and a healthy banking sector, helped the country receive a recent debt upgrade by S&P to BB+. Turkey can be accessed with iShares MSCI Turkey Invest Market Index (NYSE:TUR).

As the dominating force in Eastern Europe, a discussion about investment in the area cannot be had without talking about Russia. The near- to long-term profile for the nation is getting better, as commodity prices have rebounded above last year's lows. As the largest producer of oil and natural gas, commodities make up 60% of the Russian economy. President Dmitry Medvedev has stressed the importance of branching out from under the nation's commodities base, and has become more diversified in telecommunications and financial services. Corruption is still a worry, but the government has taken steps to reign in the dishonesty. The SPDR S&P Russia (NYSE:RBL) includes investments in Russia's top firms, including steel maker Mechel (NYSE:MTL) and telecomm Mobile Telesystems OJSC (NYSE:MBT).

The Bottom Line
While the world focuses on Western Europe's problems, the East signifies an interesting long-term opportunity. Its focus on domestic growth, natural resources and increasing consumer base make it an ideal long-term hold. The proceeding exchange traded funds allow shareholders to pick and choose best countries for investment. The region does have a few trouble spots, but overall, investors adding the territory to their portfolios could see great gains over the next decade. (To learn more, see Re-evaluating Emerging Markets.)

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Tickers in this Article: EWP, EWI, GUR, ESR, PLND, TUR, RBL, MBT, MTL

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