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ETFs For The MINTS Acronym


First it was BRIC. Then it was CIVETS. Throw in Goldman Sachsí N-11 tag for eleven rapidly growing economies and there is no shortage of catchy ways with which to group emerging markets economies.

For acronym lovers, there is another that has been flying under the radar. MINTS comes courtesy of Fidelity and can be viewed as a short version of the N-11 group. Getting down to business, MINTS is a quartet comprised of Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey.

Obviously, MINTS is a little bit like BRIC in that it offers exposure to Asia, emerging Europe and Latin America. Whether or not MINTS can be the next BRIC in terms of performance remains to be seen, but for emerging markets acronym fans, there are plenty of ETFs with which to play MINTS growth. Letís have a look at some.

Nigeria: For those that want to roll the dice on the most frontier of the MINTS quartet and probably the most risky, the best option right now is the Market Vectors Africa Index ETF (NYSE: AFK), which features a weight of almost 20% to Nigeria. The Guggenheim Frontier Markets ETF (NYSE: FRN) offers slight exposure to Nigeria, an OPEC member, but for investors that are just craving Nigeria exposure in a big way, be patient. Global X and Market Vectors have both filed plans for Nigeria-specific ETFs.

Mexico: The problem with Mexico at this moment is its intimate trading relationship with and high correlation to the U.S. That explains the ills of the iShares MSCI Mexico Investable Market Index Fund (NYSE: EWW), the biggest Mexico-specific ETF. EWW is a fine MINTS play, but the best way to play a legitimate rebound in Mexican and U.S. equities might be with small caps and that means the Global X Mexico Small-Cap ETF (NYSE: MEXS) could be worth a look down the road.

Indonesia: At the moment and probably over the medium-term, Indonesia looks like the safest bet of MINTS quartet. This Asian tiger appears to have a handle on inflation and its GDP growth outlook is still robust. Obvious candidates are the popular Market Vectors Indonesia ETF (NYSE: IDX) and the iShares MSCI Indonesia Investable Market Index Fund (NYSE: EIDO), but Market Vectors and Index IQ have filed plans for small-cap Indonesia-specific ETFs.

Turkey: From just under $70 in early May to around $48 today, the iShares MSCI Turkey Investable Market Index Fund (NYSE: TUR) is the best way to play Turkey, but thatís not saying much. Europeís sovereign debt woes have severely hampered TUR in recent months and that means perhaps the best thing that can be said of TUR is that itís a contrarian play assuming support holds at $40.


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