Emerging Market Consumer ETF

By Matthew McCall | September 16, 2010 AAA

The newest ETF released by Emerging Global Shares focuses on the emerging market consumer, a niche area often overlooked. The Emerging Global Shares Dow Jones Emerging Consumer Titans ETF (NYSE:ECON) is composed of 30 stocks from the consumer goods and consumer services sectors.

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The ETF, which began trading September 15, 2010, offers a new concept for investors searching for exposure to the growth of the middle class in the top emerging countries around the globe. (To learn more, see 6 Signs That You've Made It To Middle Class.)

Even though the ETF just began trading, the benchmark has been back tested to December 30, 2005. From the inception date through August 30, 2010 the index averaged an annualized return of 14.6%. During the same time the S&P 500 averaged an annual loss of 3.4%.

My belief that the best avenue for growth is through emerging and frontier markets is backed by the numbers over the last few years. Going forward the growth will be concentrated domestically within the emerging markets and will be focused on the consumers. ECON is the best product available for investors that want true exposure to the emerging market consumer.

Top Holdings

A total of ten countries are covered within the ETF, led by Mexico (20%), India (17%), Brazil (16%) and South Africa (14%). The top countries are not a surprise, but what did catch my eye is the exclusion of China from the top of the list. The largest emerging market country makes up 8.6% of the allocation, good for sixth place. China not a major player is not a concern because most investors have exposure to the country through various investments.

The number one holding is AmBev (NYSE:ABV) is based in Brazil and is the largest brewers of beer in South America. The stock recently hit a new all-time high as money flows into the country and more specifically the sector. The stock is currently trading with a fully valued P/E ratio of 20.4.

Another beverage company in the top six holdings is Fomento Economico Mexicano (NYSE:FMX), based in Mexico. Similar to ABV, the company focuses on Latin America and is trading at a new all-time high. The one major difference is the size of FMX (much smaller than ABV) and its valuation; FMX trades with a P/E ratio of only 6.3.

Two more stocks that trade in the U.S. round out the top ten holdings. Grupo Televisa (NYSE:TV), a major Mexican broadcasting/television company, makes up over 5% of the allocation. Also making up 5% of the allocation is Brazil Foods (Nasdaq:BRFS). The company sells everything from poultry to processed food products in Brazil and abroad.

The Road Ahead
When analyzing ECON it is clear the ETF is a niche, aggressive investment vehicle. That being said, investors who believe there will not be a double-dip recession, but stagnant growth in the U.S. should consider emerging markets. Within the emerging markets the biggest upside is for the consumer and ECON is your gateway into this exciting niche center.

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