Kevin Carter believes he has an idea whose time has come, and that idea is the EMQQ The Emerging Markets Internet & Ecommerce ETF (EMQQ), a funny-sounding product that’s focused on the potentially huge market of global online commerce.
The fund, which debuted yesterday on the NYSE Arca exchange, aims to give investors a purer play on fast-growing Internet and e-commerce companies in emerging markets than they've been able to get up to now from existing exchange-traded funds, says Carter, founder of Big Tree Capital, a San Francisco-based investment manager focused on emerging and frontier markets.
Big Tree developed the concept and the index that underpins the new EMQQ fund. The fund is sponsored by Exchange Traded Concepts LLC, an Edmond, Okla.-based private-label ETF advisor whose turnkey platform helps bring custom ETFs to market.
"Billions of people [in emerging markets] are going to become middle class in the next century," Carter says. “The 42 companies that comprise EMQQ have a toehold in that future market.”
China-based companies comprise two-thirds of EMQQ’s underlying index. Other countries represented include Argentina, Brazil, India, Russia, South Africa, South Korea and Taiwan.
Among the more well-known companies in the fund’s top 10 holdings are Alibaba, Tencent Holdings, JD.com and Baidu from China; Yandex from Russia and Mercado Libre from Argentina.
The fund’s expense ratio is 0.86 percent.
Carter says that because existing emerging market indexes generally have a policy of only including companies whose primary stock listing is in their native land, they've shunned companies such as Alibaba and Baidu, both of which are U.S.-listed. He adds that EMQQ wants to fill that void and give investors the chance to invest in a pool of potentially lucrative companies.
Carter says the average revenue growth of the 42 companies in the EMQQ fund is a staggering 45 percent.
He notes that he began concentrating on emerging markets such as China on the advice of Burton Malkiel, the Princeton University economist and author of the classic book, "A Random Walk Down Wall Street.” Malkiel is an advisor to Big Tree’s EMQQi index committee.