The first CIVETS fund was launched last spring by HSBC.  And while the Economist Intelligence Unit’s coining of the term might have made sense when it first came out, is the industry who brought you STRIPS and TIGRs, getting a bit too sloppy in its effort to be catchy?  Bartle Bull, in an article in Prospect earlier this year quotes one fund manager:  “If an asset class doesn’t exhibit some common traits then it ain’t an asset class, except when seen through the bottom of a lazy fund manager’s lychee martini glass.”

Jim O’Neill’s BRICs are a decade old this year and a few reports have come out recently that lead us to believe that the acronym may be placed under review.  Maplecroft, a risk consultancy, has released a tool that calculates the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks facing an emerging country.  While Russia, India, and China ranked as having extreme risks, Brazil did not.  Likewise, peHUB posed the question, “No more ‘R’ in BRIC?”  They cited Vladimir Putin’s likely return to the Presidency of Russia.

A quick look at EEM, an ETF that seeks to replicate the performance of MSCI’s Emerging Markets Index, reveals that the country weights largest four countries weighted in the the index are not the BRICs, but rather China, Brazil, South Korea, and Taiwan.  After that you’ve got South Africa, followed by India and Russia.  Unfortunately, CBSKTSAIR is nowhere near as catchy…

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