Van Eck, the New York-based fund company known for its expertise in natural resources investing, filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to market three international equity ETFs—two focused on Germany and a third targeting Russia.
The Market Vectors Germany Mid-Cap ETF, Market Vectors Germany Small-Cap ETF and Market Vectors Russia Small-Cap ETF are similar in design, each tracking rules-based, float-adjusted, modified capitalization-weighted indexes managed by Structured Solutions AG.
The Germany-focused funds would be a first for Van Eck, which manages 11 other country- and region-specific Market Vectors ETFs. The Russia Small-Cap ETF would join the large-cap Market Vectors Russia ETF (NYSEArca: RSX), launched in April 2007. RSX, which is heavily weighted with oil and natural gas industry holdings, tracks the DAXglobal Russia Index and invests in companies domiciled in Russia.
Van Eck has had success in the small-cap space with its Brazil Small-Cap ETF (NYSEArca: BRF). The fund has gathered some $1 billion in assets since its launch in May 2009, a reflection of investors’ increasing interest in non-U.S. funds and openness to the higher-risk/higher-return profile of small-cap stocks.
Both German funds will own securities or depositary receipts of publicly traded companies that: 1) are headquartered in Germany, or 2) have at least 50 percent of their assets invested in that country, or 3) derive at least half of their revenue from business in Germany.
While the filings didn’t specify the required market capitalization for inclusion in the portfolios, they did specify that the company might rely on derivative instruments to achieve the exposure it seeks.
The proposed Russia ETF will also invest in companies headquartered in Russia, and that do most of their business or derive most of their assets from operations in Russia. It, too, may use derivatives such as swaps or futures contracts in the mix.
Van Eck didn’t disclose fees and trading symbols.
Van Eck ranked sixth in net flows in 2010, gathering $3.78 billion in 2010 to push its assets under management above the $20 billion mark, according to data compiled by IndexUniverse.com.