New York-based Global X Funds introduced the Global X FTSE Andean 40 ETF on Thursday. The ETF provider says it is the first ETF to target this region.

The Andean region, comprised of Chile, Colombia and Peru in the ETF, has been a top-performing stock market region, says Global X. (The ETF does not include the Andean country of Ecuador).  And the new ETF will “allow investors to take advantage of a pending agreement to merge the stock markets of Chile, Colombia and Peru, which will create the second largest stock exchange in Latin America after Brazil’s and 50% larger than Mexico’s,”  the company stated in a press release.

According to Russell Investments, returns in Chile were 51.1%  last year and 48.5% in Colombia.

“We are excited to provide a benchmark and investment vehicle to the combined Chile, Colombia and Peru exchanges,” said Bruno del Ama, CEO of Global X Funds, in a statement. “Because of its geographic size, the Andean region is an important investment opportunity underserved by the current Latin American ETF options.”

The Global X FTSE Andean 40 ETF tracks the FTSE Andean 40 Index, designed to measure the performance of the 40 largest and most liquid companies in the Chilean, Colombian, and Peruvian markets.

As of January 26, 2011 the three-largest components for in the ETF were Southern Copper Corp., Minas Buenaventura, and Pacific Rubiales Energy.

On Friday, the Andean ETF was trading down roughly 1% at $14.75.

The Global X Interbolsa FTSE Colombia 20 ETF (GXG) moved town 1.5% to trade at about $40.30.

The iShares MSCI Chile Index Fund (ECH) declined about 1% to trade near $70, while the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund (EEM) was off 0.28% at $46.40.

Earlier this week, EPFR Global said emerging-stock stock fund outflows reached their highest level in three years, hitting more than $7 billion for the week ended Wednesday.

According to Lipper data released Thursday, foreign stock funds, both ETFs and mutual funds, had about $4 billion in outflows for the week.

With over $1 billion in managed assets as of December 31, 2010, GlobalX says it is one of the fastest-growing ETF providers in the world with a focus on global commodities, international and emerging-markets fund suites.

On January 25, 2011, Global X Funds rolled out the Global X Russell Emerging Markets Growth ETF (EMGX) and the Global X Russell Emerging Markets Value ETF (EMVX).  And on January 5, it introduced the Global X Aluminum ETF (ALUM), the first ETF globally focused on aluminum, according to the company.