EGShares Launches Broad Consumer ETF

September 14, 2010

The fortunes of EGShares’ new ETF are pinned to hopes emerging-market consumers around the world will ‘shop till they drop.’

Emerging Global Shares, or EG Shares, the Ridgewood, N.J.-based fund sponsor that focuses exclusively on emerging markets, launched a fund based on developing-market consumers worldwide, the first broad-based portfolio of its kind.

The EGShares Emerging Markets Titans Index Fund (NYSEArca: ECON) tracks the Dow Jones Emerging Markets Consumer Titans 30 Index, an index of 30 stocks with an average market capitalization of $14.5 billion. As of June 30, the benchmark’s top sector weights were general retailers (16.3 percent), beverages (14.2 percent), food producers (13.5 percent) and media (10.9 percent).

The launch of ECON follows rollouts of funds from New York-based Global X focused specifically on consumers in China and
Brazil
. But EGShares’ ECON is the first fund to offer investors general exposure to consumers in the emerging markets around the world. The new ETF’s top three positions by country are Mexico, India and
Brazil
, at about 20 percent, 16.6 percent and 16.1 percent, respectively.
China is No. 6, at 8.6 percent.

Richard Kang, EGShares’ chief investment officer and director of research, said he believes the emerging markets consumer lies at the heart of the growth story in the developing world for the foreseeable future, particularly as India and
China
continue to urbanize, and consumers in those countries seek to improve their standards of living.

"Over here in the Western world, we're de-levering and we're incentivized to save more and spend less; it's the opposite trend in the developing world, where consumers have traditionally been over-savers," Kang said in a telephone interview. “India is where
South Korea was 20 or 30 years ago.”

The new fund carries an initial net expense ratio of 0.85 percent that will remain in effect at least through July 29. ECON’s gross expense ratio is 1.20 percent.

Emerging Global’s lineup of emerging market ETFs include the India Small-Cap ETF (NYSEArca: SCIN), an ETF that the firm rolled out earlier this year.

"We rolled out our infrastructure-focused funds first because that's how emerging countries develop. You need transportation, utilities and communications in place before the consumer can get traction. We thought the timing was right for a consumer-focused fund," Kang said.

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