From Russia, With Love

January 30, 2007

Van Eck files for two new ETFs, including the first indexed Russia fund.

Van Eck laid plans to expand its fledgling ETF empire last week, filing papers with the SEC for two new funds:

The Market Vectors - Global Alternative Energy ETF
The Market Vectors - Russia ETF

The Alternative Energy ETF will track the Ardour Global Alternative Energy Index, a 30-component index of global companies engaged in the production of alternative fuels. Compared to competing alternative energy ETFs, such as the PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy ETF (AMEX: PBW), the Van Eck fund will have more global exposure: one-third of its current components, representing more than half of the total fund, are headquartered outside the U.S.

The Russian ETF, meanwhile, will track the Deutsche Borse Russia Index, a modified market-cap weighted index of globally available Russian equities. The fund will be the first Russia ETF to hit the market, and is likely to be a hit with investors when it arrives, as folks have been calling for a Russia fund for some time.  Currently, investors looking for Russian exposure can either buy very pricey mutual funds, or gain blended exposure through a BRIC ETF.

Expenses and tickers are not yet available for the Van Eck funds.

You can view the prospectus here.

Van Eck currently offers three ETFs, with a combined $478 million in assers:

The Market Vectors - Gold Miners ETF (AMEX: GDX) provides exposure to gold shares, and currently has $494 million in assets.

The Market Vectors - Environmental Services ETF (AMEX: EVX) provides exposure to companies involved in the trash and recycling industries, and has $40 million in assets.

The Market Vectors - Steel ETF (AMEX: SLX) provides exposure to the steel market, and currently has $44 million in assets.

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