After more than doubling in 2009 and roughly flat-lining in 2010, the Brazilian equity market as measured by iShares MSCI Brazil (NYSEArca: EWZ) has faltered in 2011, losing 23.75% year to date. Currently, EWZ is clearly the giant in the exchange traded fund landscape as far as Brazil based equity ETFs are concerned, having amassed nearly $10 billion in assets since its inception in the year 2000.
The popularity of EWZ has spawned a number of innovative alternatives across a number of ETF issuers in recent years, with many of these funds granting the investor exposure to specific industry sectors, or cap sizes such as mid and small cap. With performance lagging the broad market emerging markets index as measured by iShares MSCI Emerging Markets (NYSEArca: EEM) this year, which is down 19.12%, we will likely see opportunistic portfolio managers engaging in tax-loss harvesting and potentially rolling out of EWZ positions and into some of the smaller and newer funds in the category. [ETFs and Tax-Loss Harvesting]
The best performer year to date here is EG Shares INDXX Brazil Infrastructure (NYSEArca: BRXX), which is down 13.40%, followed by Global X Brazil Mid Cap (NYSEArca: BRAZ) down 21.58%, Global X Brazil Financials (NYSEArca: BRAF) down 22.20%, iShares MSCI Brazil Small Cap (NYSEArca: EWZS) down 22.47%, Global X Brazil Consumer (NYSEArca: BRAQ) down 23.67% and Market Vectors Brazil Small Cap (NYSEArca: BRF) down 26.06%.
First Trust Brazil AlphaDEX (NYSEArca: FBZ) is another entrant to the space that listed in the spring of 2011.
ProShares also offers two leveraged ETF plays in Brazil, ProShares Ultra MSCI Brazil (NYSEArca: UBR) and ProShares UltraShort MSCI Brazil (NYSEArca: BZQ) for those looking to use daily leveraging for short term directional trades.