Van Eck Launches Market Vectors Latin America Small-Cap Index ETF (LATM)
New York-based asset manager Van Eck Global has launched Market Vectors Latin America Small-Cap Index ETF (NYSE: LATM), the first U.S.-listed open-end exchange-traded fund (ETF) designed to give investors exposure to small-cap stocks in Latin America by seeking to track the Market Vectors Latin America Small-Cap Index, it was announced today.
“We believe that small-cap stocks are an excellent way to gain direct exposure to the domestic economy of a country”
“We believe that small-cap stocks are an excellent way to gain direct exposure to the domestic economy of a country,” said Jan van Eck, Principal at Van Eck Global. “These companies operate largely or exclusively in their home markets and are positioned to take advantage of local economic trends such as growing household wealth and increasing consumer spending. LATM gives investors exposure to one of the world’s most economically dynamic regions.”
Latin America’s gross domestic product (GDP) has grown at an average of 4.6 percent annually since 2005 and is expected to continue expanding at a rate in excess of that of the G-71 industrialized nations, according to the International Monetary Fund. Additionally, Latin America small-cap stocks are supported by a fast-growing middle class and rising domestic consumption.
LATM seeks to replicate as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield performance of the Market Vectors Latin America Small-Cap Index (Total Return Ticker: MVLATMTR), which uses a float-adjusted modified market capitalization weighting methodology. Van Eck believes that the country weightings in LATM’s underlying index more closely reflect the percentage contribution each country makes to regional GDP than competing indices for the region. For example, MVLATMTR’s Brazil allocation of approximately 43 percent as of March 31, 2010, more accurately reflects Brazil’s share of Latin America’s GDP, which is approximately 40 percent. Other Latin America indices have Brazil allocations of over 60 percent.
Including offshore components, seven countries are currently represented in the index, with Brazil having the largest weighting, followed by Mexico, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Argentina and Ecuador. Offshore companies are eligible for inclusion in the Index, provided that they generate at least 50 percent of their revenues in Latin America.
The Index currently has 81 components. Constituent companies must have a market cap of at least $150 million, a three-month average daily trading volume value of at least $1 million and minimum trading volume of 250,000 shares each month over the last 6 months on a rebalancing date. The top three industry weightings in the Index as of March 31, 2010 are Materials (26 percent), Consumer Discretionary (23 percent) and Industrials (14 percent). The Fund’s net expense ratio is 0.63% percent and its gross expense ratio is 0.68% percent.
LATM is the 25th ETF offered under Van Eck’s Market Vectors brand. Other international Market Vectors ETFs include Africa Index ETF (AFK), Brazil Small-Cap ETF (BRF), Egypt Index ETF (EGPT), Gulf States Index ETF (MES), Indonesia Index ETF (IDX), Poland ETF (PLND), Russia ETF (RSX), and Vietnam ETF (VNM). Market Vectors also offers ETFs focused on hard assets, specialty investments, and municipal bonds. As of March 31, 2010, Van Eck was the 6th largest ETF provider in the U.S. and had approximately $13.5 billion in assets under management.
About Van Eck Global
Founded in 1955, Van Eck Associates Corporation was among the first U.S. money managers helping investors achieve greater diversification through global investing. Today the firm continues this 50+ year tradition by offering global investment choices in hard assets, emerging markets, precious metals including gold, and other specialized asset classes.
Market Vectors exchange-traded products have been offered by Van Eck Global since 2006 when the firm launched the nation’s first gold mining ETF. Today, Market Vectors ETFs and ETNs span several asset classes, including equities, municipal bonds and currency markets.
Van Eck Global also offers mutual funds, insurance trust funds, separate accounts and alternative investments. Designed for investors seeking innovative choices for portfolio diversification, Van Eck Global’s investment products are often categorized in asset classes having returns with low correlations to those of more traditional U.S. equity and fixed income investments.
The Fund is subject to a high degree of risk, including those associated with less reliable financial information, higher costs, taxation, decreased liquidity, less stringent reporting, and foreign currency risks. Special risks particular to Latin American investments include expropriation, political instability, economic impacts of armed conflict, civil war and severe social instability, less developed capital markets, lower market capitalization, lower trading volume, illiquidity, inflation, greater price fluctuations, uncertainty regarding the existence of trading markets, politically controlled access to trading markets, unsettled securities laws, and trade barriers. In addition, companies with small capitalizations are subject to elevated risks, which include, among others, greater volatility, lower trading volume and less liquidity than larger companies. Investors should be willing to accept a high degree of volatility and the potential of significant loss. The Fund may loan its securities, which may subject it to additional credit and counterparty risk.
Fund shares are not individually redeemable and will be issued and redeemed at their NAV only through certain authorized broker-dealers in large, specified blocks of shares called “creation units” and otherwise can be bought and sold only through exchange trading. Creation units are issued and redeemed principally in kind. Shares may trade at a premium or discount to their NAV in the secondary market.
Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. An investor should consider investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the investment company carefully before investing. To obtain a prospectus, which contains this and other information, call 1.888.MKT.VCTR or visit our Web site at vaneck.com/etf. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing.
Van Eck Securities Corporation, Distributor, 335 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10017
1 G7 comprises of a group of seven industrialized nations, which include Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, and United States.
Chris Sullivan/Aaron Siegel, 212-473-4442