Regional Bank ETFs Await Their Turn

January 25th at 2:00pm by Tom Lydon

The improving economy has lifted Wall Street’s big banks out of their rut, but smaller community and regional bank exchange traded funds (ETFs) have yet to experience a similar rebound. What gives?

While Main Street bankers are experiencing a rebound thanks to higher consumption, a stabilizing housing market and an expanding economy, smaller banks are just now starting to catch up. [Bigger Is Better In Financial ETFs, for Now.]

SPDR KBW Regional Bank (NYSEArca: KRE) has already risen 22% since November, whereas the SPDR KBW Capital Markets ETF (NYSEArca: KCE) has only gained 13.7%. Commercial and regional banks will likely be enjoying the rebound in lending and reduction in loan losses for this year, writes Anthony Mirhaydari for InvestorPlace.

When choosing ETFs to play regional banks, look under the hood, because some banks that would be considered far beyond “regional” make surprise appearances, according to ETF Professor at Benzinga.

For instance, the SPDR KBW Regional Banking ETF (NYSEArca: KRE) and the Regional Bank HOLDRs (AMEX: RKH) both have the regional banking moniker. RKH, though, has almost half its holdings in large national banks, which also have a large weighting in the fund, while KRE holds around 50 regional banks.

Additionally, the iShares Dow Jones U.S. Regional Banks (NYSEArca: IAT) also includes around 67 regional banks in its portfolio. First Trust NASDAQ ABA Community Bank Index (NASDAQ: QABA), on the other hand, gives the majority of its portfolio over to small-caps (45.2%) and mid-caps (21.2%).

For more information on regional banks, visit our regional banks category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.