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iShares unveils Frontier Markets ETF

iShares, an exchange traded funds (ETFs) business of BlackRock in the US, has introduced the iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Index Fund, which the company claims to be the first ETF available to US investors benchmarked to the MSCI Frontier Markets 100 Index.

The Index offers exposure to frontier market securities that are exclusively screened for liquidity, claims the wealth manager.

The frontier markets currently incorporated in the Index include Argentina, Bangladesh, Croatia, Estonia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritius, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Romania, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, the UAE and Vietnam.

BlackRock’s iShares Americas Institutional Business head Daniel Gamba said the fund was a global extension for investors who sought broader equity market exposures.

"Frontier markets are a relatively untapped and exciting investment opportunity that more investors are starting to consider," Gamba added.

"Introducing this frontier markets ETF highlights iShares commitment to providing access to unique, growing equity markets through transparent, liquid and cost efficient products."

Frontier markets are the world’s fastest growing economies, backed by growing consumer class and a good supply of natural resources.

In the beginning of 2012, iShares rolled out the iShares Emerging Markets Corporate Bond Fund, the index-based ETF to offer broad access to investment grade and high yield bonds issued by corporations based in Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

iShares also launched 10 single country ETFs, including the first ETFs to seek investable market exposure in Denmark and Finland, in 2012.

As of 30 June 2012, BlackRock’s AUM was $3.560 trillion. The company provides products including separate accounts, mutual funds, iShares (exchange traded funds), and other pooled investment vehicles.