State Street Launches Russia ETF

State Street Global Advisors recently launched the SPDR S&P Russia ETF (RBL).

Designed to provide investors with access to companies domiciled in Russia, the world’s largest producer of natural gas and oil, the new ETF seeks to track the performance of the S&P BMI Russia Capped Index.

The Index includes companies domiciled in Russia with a float-adjusted market cap of $100 million or more and a minimum value traded of $50 million for the last 12 months at the time of annual reconstitution. As of February 26, 2010, the Index included 72 stocks.

The annual expense ratio for the fund is 0.59 percent.

The driving force behind the development of this new emerging market SPDR ETF was increasing investor demand for more precise exposure to the BRIC countries according to a company spokesperson.

The BRIC economies, which encompass more than 25 percent of the world’s land mass and 40 percent of the world’s population, have posted strong growth in recent years. According to MSCI, BRIC equities have returned 26 percent per annum versus 18 percent for the standard emerging markets index over the last seven years ending November 30, 2009.

For more ETF investing choices, see the country ETF directory.