Stimulus Could Boost Brazil ETFs

 |  Includes: BRF, BRXX, EWZ
by: Tom Lydon

After the lackluster growth over 2012, Brazil's economy could strengthen this year as the government steps in to stimulate the economy, bringing investors back to Brazilian stocks and related exchange traded funds.

Brazil's government has increased government expenditure and enacted policies to stimulate consumption, which have kept unemployment rates low compared to other developed countries, Zacks reports.

Specifically, the country's central bank cut interest rates to increase liquidity, diminish consumers' debt burden and encourage investments. Meanwhile, the government implemented a series of stimulus measures, such as increased infrastructure spending before the country hosts the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.

Looking at the Brazilian economy, manufacturing activity is rebounding at the start of the year. The lower tax burden on companies, lower pay roll tax and increased infrastructure spending fueled activity in the sector.

Moreover, the depreciating Brazilian real currency should also help the country's export industry.

Investors interested in Brazil can consider a number of ETF products. For instance, the iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund (NYSEARCA:EWZ) provides exposure to the Brazilian market, with an emphasis on large-cap equities, such as Vale, Itau Unibanco Holding and Petrobras. Top sectors included financials and materials, which combined make up 45.9% of the portfolio. EWZ has a 0.60% expense ratio.

Investors can also access small-cap segment of Brazil's market with the Market Vectors Small-Cap ETF (NYSEARCA:BRF). BRF has a heavier concentration to consumer discretionary and industrials, which combined make up 56.8% of the fund. The ETF has a 0.59% expense ratio.

Additionally, the EGShares Brazil Infrastrucuture Index ETF (NYSEARCA:BRXX) offers a focused approach to the country's infrastructure boom. The ETF is exposed to electricity, gas, water, mulch-utilities and real estate investment and services. BRXX has a 0.85% expense ratio.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.