ETF spotlight on the iShares MSCI Italy (NYSEArca: EWI), part of an ongoing series.

Assets: $98 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 22.15%, ENEL SPA 13.13%, Intesa Sanpaolo 7.56%, Unicredit SPA 6.69% and Saipem SPA 4.91%.

What You Should Know:

  • BlackRock‘s iShares ETF division sponsors the fund.
  • EWI has an expense ratio of 0.54%.
  • The ETF has 31 holdings.
  • The fund has a 12-month yield of 3.59%.
  • EWI is down 1.60% over the past month, down 10.55% over the last three months and down 23.15% year-to-date.

The Latest News:

  • EWI recently fell below its 50-day exponential moving average after the recent string of disconcerting news. The fund was up 4.07% at last check Thursday.
  • On Wednesday, borrowing costs on Italian bonds were at a dangerous record high of over 7.0%. [Italy ETF Drops as Bond Yields Spike]
  • Italian markets recovered slightly as lawmakers ousted Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and replaced his government with technocrats led by former European Commissioner Mario Monti, according to The NY Times.
  • On Thursday, the European Commission stated that the Italian economy will stagnate in 2012 and eek out growth of just 0.1%, according to The Economic Times.
  • “A renewed slowdown in economic activity is now under way in Italy, amid high risk aversion and increasing uncertainty in the domestic and international economic environment,” the commission said in a EU economic report.
  • The commission expects Italian growth to “remain flat” in the third quarter of 2011 and diminish 0.2% in the last quarter of the year.
  • The 2011 economic forecast was lowered to 0.5% from 1.0%.
  • The commission also stated that budget cuts and austerity measures needed to restore market confidence will likely continue to weigh on growth.

iShares MSCI Italy

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