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Global X FTSE/ASEAN 40 Index ETF Starts Trading

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Global X Funds launched the Global X FTSE/ASEAN 40 Index ETF on Thursday. It is the fifth ETF introduced by Global X based on a FTSE index and the first U.S.-listed exchange-traded fund to represent the performance of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), according to FTSE.

It trades under the ticker symbol ASEA.  

The FTSE/ASEAN 40 Index measures the performance of the 40 largest companies in the broader FTSE/ASEAN Index, which tracks the performance of large- and mid- cap companies from Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

As of February 11, 2011, the index break down was: Singapore (41.19%), Malaysia (32.82%), Indonesia (14.77%), Thailand (10.58%), and the Philippines (0.61%), according to Global X.

The Southeast Asian nations have profited from considerable growth and a combined market capitalization of $1.75 trillion in 2010, larger than that of both India and Brazil, according to the World Federation of Exchanges.

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"We are pleased to provide access to the ASEAN market for US investors," said Bruno del Ama, CEO of Global X Funds, in a press release.  "This is one of the most dynamic regions in the world with accelerating consumer demand that should develop a middle class of about 300 million people by 2015."

The top corporate holdings  are DBS Group Holdings of Singapore, 6.03%; Singapore Telecom, 5.69%; Oversea-Chinese Banking, or OCBC, of Singapore, 5.61%; United Overseas Bank of Singapore, 5.04%; Astra International of Indonesia, 4.93%; Malayan Banking of Malaysia, 4.48%; Public Bank Fgn of Malaysia, 4.47%; CIMB Group Holdings of Malaysia, 4.47%; Sime Darby Bhd of Malaysia, 4.11%; and Keppel Corporation of Singapore, 3.15%.

Other FTSE indexes currently used by Global X as the basis for ETFs include: the FTSE Colombia 20 Index, the FTSE Nordic 30 Index, the FTSE Norway 30 Index and the FTSE Andean 40 Index.

The Global X FTSE/ASEAN 40 Index ETF has an expense ratio of 0.65% and is distributed by SEI Investments.