Asia's Largest Emerging Market Fund

Focus: GLOBAL

Doug Fabian Image Doug Fabian Editor, Successful ETF Investing, ETF Trader's Edge, Weekly ETF Report, and ETFU.com

Our latest featured exchange-traded fund specifically focuses on investing in publicly traded companies in emerging Asian and Pacific markets, explains Doug Fabian, editor of the Weekly ETF Report.

The SPDR S&P Emerging Asia Pacific ETF (GMF) is a market-cap-weighted fund based on the S&P Asia Pacific Emerging BMI index.

However, GMF employs a sampling strategy, which means it is not required to buy all of the securities represented in the BMI index.

Instead, the fund’s managers choose to hold a specific subset of the securities in the index with similar risk and return as the overall index.

The idea of the strategy is to exclude the smaller-cap companies that are vulnerable to bankruptcy or acquisition risks. With $337 million in total assets, GMF offers size and liquidity in a segment where funds generally lack these qualities.

The fund’s managers only select those companies with a float-adjusted market capitalization of at least $1 billion to add to its holdings, and it normally invests at least 90% of its assets in the securities of these companies.

With more than 60% of its total investments in China and Taiwan, the fund is considered non-diversified. Other significant holdings of the fund include companies based in India, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, which together compose over 30% of the total investments.

Approximately 50% of the fund’s money goes into the technology and financial sectors, which will rise as the large tech companies in the Asia-Pacific region continue to expand.

Year to date, the fund has had a return of 12.17%, beating the S&P 500’s return of 4.47%. Typically for the Asia-Pacific emerging market segment, the fund has had its share of ups and downs throughout the past year, but it has managed to hold a positive overall trend.

GMF has a dividend yield of 3.52% and an expense ratio of 0.49%. If you wish to invest in a region that is growing at a fast pace, you may wish to consider the SPDR S&P Emerging Asia Pacific ETF for your portfolio.

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By Doug Fabian, Editor of the Weekly ETF Report