ETF Spotlight on iShares MSCI Italy (NYSEArca: EWI), part of an ongoing series. The Italy exchange traded fund dropped more than 4% in early trading Friday as Eurozone debt fears rattled bank stocks in the region.

Assets: $135.1 million.

Objective: The iShares MSCI Italy Index Fund tries to reflect the performance of the MSCI Italy Index, which holds publicly traded securities in the Italian market.

Holdings: Top holdings include: ENI SPA 18.04%, ENEL SPA 12.51%, Unicredit SPA 9.17%, Intesa Sanpaolo 5.63% and Assicurazioni Generali 4.75%.

What You Should Know:

  • EWI has an expense ratio of 0.54%.
  • The fund has 32 holdings.
  • Sector allocations include: Financials 28.61%, Energy 26.01%, Utilities 20.24%, Industrials 9.41%, Consumer Discretionary 6.79%, Telecom Services 4.87%, Consumer Staples 2.35%, S-T Securities 0.01% and other 1.70%.

The Latest News:

  • European banks were under pressure Friday and UniCredit shares were temporarily halted after a rapid decline on worries over Italy’s sovereign debt risks, according to reports. [Eurozone Debt Fears]
  • The spread between the 10-year Italian/German yield hit a euro-era high of 225 basis points earlier, with yields on 10-year Italian notes nearing 5.2%, a high last seen in 2008, reports Kirsten Donovan for Reuters.
  • Gary Jenkins, head of fixed income at Evolution Securities, calculates that if yields stay at current levels, Italy’s annual debt services costs would jump 9.7 billion euros ($13.6 billion), or 0.65% of GDP, by 2015.
  • After the recent emergency budget meeting, the Italy’s cabinet approved deficit-reducing measures of $55 billion, according to The Economist. Italy’s public debt may hit 120% of GDP this year.
  • “Without balancing the books there can be no industrial production, only disaster,” said Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti at a Coldiretti meeting, according to AGI. “The problem is not whether or not this country is politically successful, but whether or not its population can survive.”
  • In the first quarter, Italy’s economy grew 0.1%, reports Giada Zampano for The Wall Street Journal.

For past stories in this series, visit our ETF Spotlight category.

iShares MSCI Italy

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.