(Dow Jones) Call it ETF on demand.

Bolivian magnate R. Marcelo Claure had been looking for a way to make a broad-based bet on lithium. A hedge fund in which he invests found him one.

The fund, MC Capital Advisors, this year turned to a company that creates exchange-traded funds. The result was Global X Lithium, (LIT) an ETF that was launched today by Global X Funds and tracks lithium producers and battery makers. As of July 13, 2010, 51% of the index includes lithium battery manufacturers, while 49% of the index consists of lithium mining and refining companies.

The ETF tracks the Solactive Global Lithium Index, which is designed to reflect performance of the largest and most liquid lithium battery producing and mining and refining companies in the world.  As of July 13, 2010, the three largest components of the ETF are lithium producers SQM from Chile, and FMC Corporation and Rockwood Holdings from the United States.

MC Capital provided seed money to New York-based Global X Management Co., to start the ETF, and will receive half the ETF's profits.

Global X Lithium is an unusual case of ETF creation. But it also is part of a trend in which ETF firms are joining forces with other companies to launch funds that track obscure parts of the financial markets. ETFs typically are tradable securities designed to track an index of stocks, bonds or commodities.

Among ETFs soon to be released are funds designed to track small-cap companies in Thailand, producers of rare metals such as gallium and selenium, and shares of fishing-related companies.

"It's harder and harder to come up with simple, obvious and good ideas," said John Hyland, chief investment officer of U.S. Commodity Funds, which runs eight energy ETFs, including the U.S. Oil Fund and U.S. Natural Gas Fund.

Mr. Hyland's company is about to launch an ETF designed to track commodities whose current contract is trading at a premium to future contracts, generally a sign of tight supplies, along with long-term trends. The idea was pushed by SummerHaven Investment Management, a Connecticut investment firm, Mr. Hyland said.

This month, AdvisorShares, a Maryland ETF firm, launched the Mars Hill Global Relative Value ETF, which uses a hedge-fund-like strategy to invest in stock ETFs. It was initiated by, and named after, Colorado money manager Mars Hill Partners.

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