Many Asian-country focused exchange traded funds (ETFs) are giving back their 2007 gains. Are the Asian tigers of 2007 going to become the sleeping tigers of 2008?

A standout such as iShares MSCI Singapore (EWS) has given back much of  2007 gains all during the first quarter of 2008, says Gary Gordon for ETFExpert.

iShares Xinhua China 25 Index (FXI) finished 35% off its highs last Friday, giving back 50% of its 2008 gains, within 14 days, and Gordon reminds us that a 35% loss requires a 50% gain to get back to your starting gate.

One tiger remains standing, however: The iShares MSCI Taiwan Index (EWT) is still up 14% over the same time period. It’s quite a turnaround for the fund. In 2007, it gained only 3.8%. So far this year, it’s up 11.5%, leaving other Asian countries in the dust.

If you believe that the Asian markets are merely in a slump and will eventually make a turnaround, Gordon suggests getting a little more diversification across Asia with funds such as iShares S&P Asia 50 Index (AIA), which invests in the top 50 companies from the leading tigers: Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong. Taiwan is the only single Asian country outperforming the fund at the moment, which is down 6.2% year-to-date.

Another diversified fund is the BLDRS Asia 50 ADR Index (ADRA), which is down 9.3% year-to-date.

For full disclosure, Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of EWS.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.