When selecting any exchange traded fund, it is important to consider the weightings. In emerging market funds, these weightings tend to lean toward exporters, government-owned entities or high concentrations in specific sectors. ETF investors, though, may opt to single out a promising area, instead.
The rising middle class is the underpinning factor in the emerging markets, and Morningstar ETF analyst Patricia Oey suggests investors should look for funds that have a high exposure to consumer firms to capitalize on this growing trend. [ETF Performance: A Selective Approach to Emerging Markets]
Two emerging market ETFs exhibit low volatility relative to the MSCI Emerging Markets Index and include high-quality, large-cap consumer name brands. [Emerging Market ETFs Capture the Next ‘Engine of Growth’]
EGShares Emerging Markets Consumer ETF (NYSEArca: ECON) tracks 30 large-cap emerging market consumer companies. Since it only includes large, well-established names, the fund has been less volatile than the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. ECON has an expense ratio of 0.85%.
“The fund’s thesis is a logical one: Emerging-markets consumers increasingly are reaching middle-class status and have more disposable income to spend on everything from cars and electronic gadgets to processed foods and beverages,” Oey said in a research note. “In addition, many emerging-markets economies have generally young populations as well.”
Top holdings include Cia de Bebidas das Americas 10%, Naspers 7.6% and Wal-Mart de Mexico 6.8%. Top sectors include beverages 15.8%, general retailers 15.7% and food producers 13.2%. Country weightings are Mexico 19.4%, Brazil 17.4%, South Africa 17.4%, India 12.6%, Chile 10.3% and Malaysia 6.8%.
It should be noted that the allegations of venal agreements between Wal-Mart de Mexico and the government may weigh on the fund in the near term, Oey added.