Van Eck Associates Corp. is moving ahead with an exchange-tradedfund (ETF) focused on Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories—thefirst of its kind—even amid the biggest losses for the island'ssecurities since at least 1999.

The New York-based company registered the Market Vectors PuertoRico Municipal Index ETF with the U.S. Securities and ExchangeCommission (SEC) in August, regulatory filings show. Jim Colby, asenior municipal strategist at Van Eck who would co-manage thefund, said it may debut this year or in 2014, depending on feedbackfrom the SEC.

“A product like this takes away the individual security risk andadds an element of liquidity,” Colby said in an interview. “In thiscircumstance, with this particular product, my guess is we willhave a little bit of pushback” given its unique nature, hesaid.

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