iShares Expands International Equity ETF Line

January 31st at 7:00am by Tom Lydon

BlackRock’s iShares, the largest provider of exchange traded fund products, recently launched a handful of foreign country-specific funds, bringing the company’s new international equity ETF offerings up to twelve so far this year.

iShares launched recently launched three broad foreign market ETFs:

  • iShares MSCI Denmark Capped Investable Market Index Fund (BATS: EDEN). Top sectors include health care 35.0%, industrials 25.1% and financials 15.3%. Novo Nordisk is the largest component in the ETF at 22.5%. The rest of the holdings are weighted below 8%. EDEN has an expense ratio of 0.53%.
  • iShares MSCI Finland Capped Investable Market Index Fund (BATS: EFNL). Top sectors include industrials 26.9%, information technology 19% and materials 14.6%. Nokia is the largest holding at 17.3% while the other holdings are 9% and lower. EFNL has an expense ratio of 0.53%.
  • iShares MSCI Norway Capped Investable Market Index Fund (BATS: ENOR). Top sectors include energy 52%, finacnials 12.8% and materials 8.8%. Statoil makes up 22.7% of the fund, while other components are under 8%. ENOR has an expense ratio of 0.53%.

“The Nordic countries have weathered the European financial crisis better than their peers,” Darek Wojnar, Head of US iShares Product Development and Management at BlackRock, said in a press release. “While most European countries are facing a long road to recovery, the Nordic countries are generally expected to grow faster than other developed European markets.”

The new iShares Norway Fund will compete with the Global X FTSE Norway 30 ETF (NYSEArca: NORW). Global X also offers the Global X FTSE Nordic Region ETF (NYSEArca: GXF), which offers exposure to Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland.

The company also issued four small-cap country-specific ETFs that try to reflect the performance of equity securities in the bottom 14% of their respective markets. The funds’ component holdings are relatively spread out.

  • iShares MSCI Australia Small Cap Index Fund (BATS: EWAS). Top sectors include materials 25%, industriasl 20.1% and financials 13.6%. EWAS has an expense ratio of 0.59%.
  • iShares MSCI Canada Small Cap Index Fund (BATS: EWCS). Top sectors include materials 32.8%, Energy 28.4% and financials 11.0%. EWCS has an expense ratio of 0.59%.
  • iShares MSCI Germany Small Cap Index Fund (BATS: EWGS). Top sectors include industrials 33.9%, information technology 14.9% and health care 12.0%. EWGS has an expense ratio oof 0.59%.
  • iShares MSCI United Kingdom Small Cap Index Fund (BATS: EWUS). Top sectors include: industrials 24.0%, consumer discretionary 20.4% and financials 18.1%. EWUS has an expense ratio of 0.59%.

“Investors who have an investment view on a specific country may find that the country’s small cap companies are the most impacted by the local economy,” Wosjnar added. “With the launches today, investors can now access more segmented markets with the added benefits of diversification, transparency and trading flexibility of iShares ETFs.”

The six ETFs will trade on the BATS exchange, the third largest U.S. equity market.

For more information on new ETF offerings, visit our new ETFs 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.