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Emerging markets funds, by the numbers

Russia's President Vladimir Putin, right, and his visiting Brazil's counterpart Dilma Rousseff shake hands during their meeting in Moscow.
Alexander Nemenov | AFP | Getty Images
Russia's President Vladimir Putin, right, and his visiting Brazil's counterpart Dilma Rousseff shake hands during their meeting in Moscow.

Goldman Sachs marked the end of era with the closing of its BRIC fund.

The fund's about $100 million in assets — selectively invested in the emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China — were folded into the more diversified $322 million emerging markets equity fund. Bloomberg reported this week that Goldman quietly filed to close the fund in September.

Despite the rapid economic expansion in those countries over the last 15 years, growth is expected to slow in coming years, according to World Bank estimates.

About 53 percent of the fund's assets were invested in China — the fastest growing of the four economies. The fund included about 21 percent of its assets in India, 14 percent in Brazil and 9 percent in Russia.

The BRIC acronym was based on rapid GDP growth, but those four countries fell short compared to a broader index of all emerging market countries. Strangely enough, the surviving Goldman EM fund has an even worse long-term track record than the BRIC fund being shut down.

About 48 percent of the Goldman Sachs emerging markets fund is also invested in the BRICS economies (if we include South Africa, a later addition to the BRIC list). But the fund also holds equities from South Korea, Taiwan, Mexico and Turkey — other markets that could offset slowdowns in the BRICS countries. It's required to hold assets from many countries by the rules, because the fund isn't permitted to invest more than 35 percent of its assets in any one emerging economy.

Emerging equity funds overall have shed about $60 billion this year, but picked up last month on expectations that central bankers will continue to keep monetary policy loose.