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Friday, May 15, 2009

Van Eck Takes the Wraps off Another First

by: Erin Kello

Van Eck is is further expanding its ETF line-up. The New York City-based company launched the Market Vectors Brazil Small-Cap ETF, Thursday. The company claims in the release that it will be the first U.S.-listed ETF to focus on Brazilian small-cap stocks.

First-of-their-kind ETFs is becoming somewhat of a specialty for Van Eck. Earlier this year, the company launched the Market Vectors Pre-Refunded Municipal Index ETF,billed as the first ETF in the country that focuses on the pre-refunded segment of the municipal bond market. (see MFWire 02/04/09).

NEW YORK, (MAY 14, 2009) – Van Eck Global today introduced the Market Vectors Brazil Small-Cap ETF (NYSE Arca: BRF), the first U.S.-listed exchange-traded fund (ETF) to focus on Brazilian small-cap stocks.

BRF and its underlying index (Market Vectors Brazil Small-Cap Index, ticker: MVRIO) are designed to give investors exposure to domestic investment themes and opportunities, such as the growth potential in Brazil’s homebuilding and consumer goods sectors.

“In our view, small-cap stocks represent excellent direct exposure to the Brazilian economy since small-caps are typically driven by local trends,” said Jan van Eck, Principal at Van Eck Global. “BRF is well diversified and avoids the heavy commodities and materials weightings of other Brazil-focused products currently on the market.”

“Energy and Materials accounted for more than 50 percent of the weighting in the typical Brazil-focused index as of April 30th of this year,” continued van Eck. “By way of comparison, Energy and Materials made up just 16 percent of MVRIO at that same time. We believe that this makes BRF a unique product and one that will appeal to investors who are looking for a different type of exposure to Brazil’s local economy.” The top three industry weightings for BRF’s index are Household Durables, Food Products and Specialty Retail at 16%, 9% and 8%, respectively.

MVRIO is calculated and maintained by Standard & Poor’s® on behalf of 4asset-management GmbH. At April 30, 2009, the Index had a weighted average market cap of US$1.4 billion.

BRF is the 20th ETF offered under Van Eck’s Market Vectors brand, which includes hard assets, international, specialty and municipal bond ETFs. Market Vectors ETFs had a total of approximately $7 billion in assets under management as of May 7, 2009. As of the end of April, Van Eck was the sixth largest provider of ETFs in the U.S.

About Van Eck Global

Founded in 1955, Van Eck was among the first U.S. money managers helping investors achieve greater diversification through global investing. Today, the firm continues its 50+ year tradition by offering global investment choices in hard assets, emerging markets, precious metals including gold, and other specialized and alternative asset classes.

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