International small-cap exchange traded funds (ETFs) are the latest frontier that providers have captured. There are now five choices in this space and ETFs that have the same asset class are not always the same underneath. Matthew Hougan for Index Universe takes us on an expedition, to dig deeper into these small-cap ETFs and discover what is behind the ticker symbols and their index returns.

iShares MSCI EAFE Small-Cap (SCZ) launched last week and has an expense ratio 0.40%. Industrials make up 23.5% of the ETF, followed by financials at 20.7% and consumer discretionary at 16.1%. Top countries represented are Japan at 24.8%, the U.K. at 19.8% and Australia at 8.9%.

iShares FTSE Developed ex-U.S. Small-Cap (IFSM) began trading last month with an expense ratio 0.50%. Top sectors represented in this ETF include industrials at 28.5%, financials at 22.4% and consumer services at 12.9%. The U.K. makes up 24.1% of the ETF, followed by Japan at 15.9% and France with 6.1%.

PowerShares FTSE RAFI Developed ex-U.S. Small-Mid (PDN) hit the market in September with an expense ratio of 0.75%. Consumer discretionary makes up 18.3% of this ETF, while consumer staples is 9.4% and energy is 3.8%. Japan is the top country represented with 34.4%, the U.K. is 11.9% and Hong Kong makes up 7.0%. PDN also includes mid-cap companies.

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