Big Papi, Obama Selfie Highlights New South Korea ETF

The Horizons Korea KOSPI 200 ETF (NYSEArca: HKOR) is just a month old, but its timing among new ETFs has been pretty good.

HKOR, the first U.S.-listed ETF to serve as a proxy for South Korea’s benchmark KOSPI 200, debuted just two days after the Academy Awards. Under normal circumstances, award shows usually are not meaningful to ETFs, but the Oscars were the scene of the now famous “selfie” snapped by host Ellen DeGeneres with some of Hollywood’s biggest names. [A New ETF Ellen Would Love]

The picture, reportedly the legal property of actor Bradley Cooper because he physically took the photo, was snapped with a Samsung phone. That is relevant to HKOR because the South Korean industrial conglomerate is almost 22.2% of HKOR’s weight, according to Horizons data. That is nearly quadrupled the weight given to HKOR’s second-largest holding, Hyundai Motor.

Samsung has been in the spotlight again this week after Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz took a selfie with President Obama at the White House Wednesday. The White House is not too fussed on the ploy, which Samsung fessed up to. Not that it was not somewhat obvious as Ortiz signed an endorsement deal with the company earlier this week.

Back to the facts that really matter to HKOR and the ETF’s prospective investors. Samsung is locked in a bitter battle with Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL) for the affections of mobile phone users. It can be said that Apple is a marketing machine, but after the Ellen and Ortiz/Obama selfies, it is not a stretch to say Samsung is every bit the marketing machine Apple is. Perhaps even more so.