How to Capture India's Mobile Phone Market: Invest in Korea

Includes: EWY, LGERF, LPL, MTE
by: Emerging Money

Few people realize that India is a better untapped cell phone market than China. Despite all the talk of RIMM and Nokia, Korean companies are quietly building a dominant position. Another angle on how to play India.

LG Electronics (OTC:LGERF) is opening 100 phone stores throughout India as part of a broader campaign to double its network of distributors and get a 10% market share in the country by the end of the year. That would mean selling about 10 million handsets a year. Granted, these are not iPhones, but LG is betting that volume will translate into profits -- and that the younger audience it is courting will line up for higher-end devices as the Indian economy matures.

While subsidiary LG Display (NYSE:LPL) is widely traded in ADR form, the parent company's stock is thinly traded over here on the pink sheets. Probably the best way for U.S. investors to trade it and Samsung -- its fellow Korean heavyweight in the Indian cell phone market -- is via the Korea ETF EWY. EWY has about 20% of its portfolio in these two companies.

3G data plays For a pure 3G data play in India, take a look at and Mahanagar Telephone (NYSE:MTE). In addition to state run Bharat Sanchar Nigam, Vodafone has a joint venture presence that owns some data spectrum.

Disclosure: No positions