Northern Trust Global Investments, an asset management arm of Northern Trust, has launched a frontier markets index fund.

According to Northern Trust, the fund seeks to provide institutional investors with exposure to under-represented regions such as Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East, as well as a broadened opportunity set in Asia and the Americas.

The fund, which is benchmarked to the S&P Frontier Extended 150 Index, takes a diversified approach to the sub-asset class of emerging markets.

Northern Trust Global Investments chief investment officer Bob Browne said, “Our new index fund offers investors the opportunity to expand their asset allocation beyond developed and emerging markets to the next ‘frontier’ of capital investment in a highly disciplined and risk managed framework.”

Frontier markets are developing countries, such as Nigeria, Kenya, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Croatia, Romania, Qatar and Kuwait, that have high economic growth rates and small, relatively illiquid and undercapitalized equity markets.