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iStock_000009689168XSmall-Emerging-Markets_0Let’s be blunt: emerging markets flat-out sucked last year.

Investors who ventured into these once high-flying growth markets got clobbered in 2011, and some of the biggest country-specific losers all were from the emerging-market space. Most of the sector’s declines took place in the second half of the year, as fear of a European debt crisis reached a fever pitch.

This year, however, the script has been flipped.

Although there still are plenty of unanswered questions about Europe’s debt issues, investors have poured back into emerging markets. After punishing losses last year, there have been some astounding gains through the first five weeks of 2012. These gains show just how powerful a draw emerging markets still are with investors. So, which emerging-market exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have seen the best performance so far in the young year?

Here are five emerging-market ETFs shedding their bearish coats.

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