ETF Chart of the Day: Switzerland and the Swiss Franc
March 22nd, 2012 at 12:30pm by Paul Weisbruch, Street One Financial
A European country that may be overlooked at times because it is not currently a member of the European Union and maintains its own currency, the Swiss Franc, is Switzerland.
The iShares MSCI Switzerland (NYSEArca: EWL) is the largest ETF in the space that delivers exposure to this country, and the fund has amassed $5.6 billion since its launch back in 1996.
Some well – known companies are domiciled in Switzerland, as the top holdings of EWL would indicate. Currently, the top weightings in EWL look like this, NESN (Nestle, SA, 23.03%), NVSEF (Novartis AG, 12.80%), and RHHVF (Roche Holding AG, 12.78%).
From a sector standpoint, EWL is heavily slanted towards Health Care (28.79%), Consumer Staples (23.90%), and Financials (15.11%).
Recently, another issuer, First Trust, also launched a country specific ETF devoted to Switzerland, First Trust Switzerland AlphaDEX (NYSEArca: FSZ).
Like all of the AlphaDEX products, the index attempts to isolate stocks based on fundamental and quantitative metrics, and ranks and weights them accordingly for potential inclusion in the index.
The fund then employs a systematic rebalance so as to keep the holdings relatively in line from a weightings standpoint.
Additionally, CurrencyShares Swiss Franc (NYSEArca: FXF) has garnered significant attention in the past year or so mainly because the Swiss Franc currency literally went on a tear last year, before settling back in considerably at current levels. [ETF Spotlight: Swiss Franc]
Year to date, EWL is up 9.01% versus Vanguard MSCI European (NYSEArca: VGK) up 10.51%, and FXF has rallied 2.35% during the same time period. In the trailing one year timeframe, EWL is only down 1.56% while VGK has lost 10.16%, and FXF is down 1.95%.
iShares MSCI Switzerland