Busy Week at Global X

It’s been a very busy week for Global X Funds. Over three consecutive days, the New York ETF sponsor launched three ETFs that track the global fishing industry, the food industry and Mexican small-cap stocks.

The Global X Food ETF (EATX) tracks the global food industry as a play on continued growth of gross domestic product in emerging market nations. With income growth giving citizens of the emerging market nations great purchasing power, this has changed the way these people procure, prepare and consume their food. In particular, they have increased their consumption of dairy goods, livestock and packaged foods.

The fund got a nice ticker, EAT with Global X’s signature consenant. And it has an interesting symbol on the Web site, a chocolate chip cookie. So basically this is a play on multinational corporations from the West being able to now sell all those skinny third-worlders the same junk food we eat.

The Global X Food ETF tracks the Solactive Global Food Index a specialty index to track the equities of global companies in the food industry. Chocolate chip maker Nestle is the biggest holding in the fund, with a 4.88% weighting. Hence, the cookie. According to Reuters, Nestle, one of the world’s largest food producers has 40% of its business in emerging markets with sales growing 12% in regions such as China, South Asia and Africa. Yogurt maker Danone is a close second with 4.85% weighting, followed by Brasil Foods, 4.81%; General Mills, 4.75%, and Kraft, 4.68%, as of April 21. More than 48% of the funds holding’s are companies in the U.S., followed by China, 8.4%; Switzerland, 8.1%; Japan, 6.7% and United Kingdom 5.4%. Not including China, emerging markets make up less than 10% of the country holdings.

“8 out of 10 people in the world live in emerging markets. We are starting to see how food companies stand to benefit as the population in emerging economies continues to increase their purchasing power,” said Bruno del Ama, Global X’s chief executive in a written statement.

The fund concept is a clever niche play on the emerging markets. However, there’s definitely a dodgy feel to profiting off of selling to the third world the food we’re discovering could be the cause of many of our health problems. It seems Global X had a similar feeling. Feeling some social responsibility, Global X Management, the fund adviser, will donate any profit it derives from EATX to Action Against Hunger | ACF International, a global humanitarian organization that works to save the lives of malnourished children while providing communities with sustainable access to safe water and long-term solutions to hunger.

Wednesday saw the launch of the Global X Fishing Industry ETF (FISN), the first ETF targeting the global fishing industry, which is comprised of two main components: commercial fishing and aquaculture. Commercial fishing companies are directly involved in the capture of fish from the wild, while aquaculture represents fish farming operations. In addition to more processed foods, citizens of the emerging markets are eating more protein, says Global X. According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization China has seen its per-capita fish consumption grow at a dramatic rate of 5.7% per year since 1961. The FAO says an additional 27 million tons of production will be needed to maintain the present level of per-capita consumption in 2030.

The Global X Fishing Industry ETF tracks the Solactive Global Fishing Index, which holds global companies involved in the fishing industry. As of April 29, the three largest components were Cermaq, with 10.8% of the index; Marine Harvest at 10.7% and Toyo Suisan Kaisha at 9.8%. More than 35% of the index is in Norwegian companies, with 22.7% from Japan and 13% from China.

Then Thursday, the firm added to its suite of Latin American-based funds with the launch of the Global X Mexico Small-Cap ETF (MEXS), the first ETF to focus on Mexico’s small-cap companies. Many analysts think small-cap stocks are the best way to play the emerging markets because these comapanies receive the majority of their revenues from the local domestic economy. According to Morgan Stanley, in the fourth quarter of 2010, Mexico’s 4.6% economic growth rate was driven almost entirely by domestic demand. Mexican consumers have a per-capita income twice as large as Brazil’s, says Reuters, which means greater purchasing power and a strong domestic services sector. The country is expected to see economic growth of about 4% this year.

The Global X Mexico Small-Cap ETF tracks the Solactive Mexico Small-Cap Index. As of May 3, consumer discretionary was the largest sector in the index, at 29.4%. Industrials made up 22.6% and consumer staples was 20.5%.

Last month, the company launched the Global X Waste Management ETF (WSTE). The fund tracks the Solactive Global Waste Management Index, which is evenly divided among global companies that deal with the disposal of hazardous waste, non-hazardous waste and recycling.

While the entire Global X family of ETFs is extremely specialized, the funds have garnered a big enough audience to pull in $1.7 billion in assets as of March 31. And the company is getting noticed. In April, Global X tied to win America’s Most Innovative ETF Provider at the Global ETF Awards. It has also won awards from ETF Express, including Most Innovative North American ETF Provider,” “Best Emerging Markets Equity ETF Manager,” and “Best Global (ex-US) Equity ETF Manager.”

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