ETF Trends
ETF Trends

In yesterday’s feature we spoke about Japan based equity ETFs and today we switch the focus to several “Ex-Japan” products that we are fairly certain fly under the radars of most portfolio managers.

The iShares MSCI All Country Asia ex Japan (NYSEArca: AAXJ) has nearly $2 billion invested in it currently.

The product trades a healthy 595,000 shares on an average daily basis and has its largest weightings to China (24.77%), South Korea (19.41%), Taiwan (15.52%), and Hong Kong (11.31%) and invests in familiar names including Samsung, Taiwan Semi, and China Mobile for instance.

EPP (iShares MSCI Pacific ex- Japan) instead of having “All Country” Asia focus like AAXJ concentrates on the equity markets of Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Singapore.

Thus, individual equity exposure is certainly different in EPP, with top holdings including companies like BHP Billiton and Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

AXJL (WisdomTree Asia Pacific ex-Japan) is a smaller fund in terms of assets, managing about $90 million currently.

The ETF concentrates on dividend paying companies in the Asia Pacific region (ex-Japan) and also has exposure to names such as China Mobile and Taiwan Semi to name a few.

PAF (PowerShares FTSE RAFI Asia Pacific ex-Japan) is yet another alternative in this space, and is based on the RAFI proprietary index methodologies that screen fundamental measures such as book value, income, sales, and dividends.

AXJS (iShares MSCI All Country Asia ex-Japan Small Cap) is a newer product that debuted in February of this year, and as its name suggests, grants exposure to small cap equity markets in Asia ex- Japan.

Year to date, EPP has edged out PAF slightly in terms of performance, having rallied 11.68% versus PAF’s 11.63% return. AXJL is up 10.97% and AAXJ up 8.64% YTD.

This can be compared to the “benchmark” Japan equity market index, EWJ (iShares MSCI Japan) which is up only 1.32% YTD.

iShares MSCI All Country Asia ex Japan

For more information on Street One ETF research and ETF trade execution/liquidity services, contact Paul Weisbruch at