A new fund launched in October by BlackRock (NYSE: BLK) that is already making a name for itself is IEFA (iShares Core MSCI EAFE), having reeled in more than $200 million in new assets in recent sessions.
Trading volume, as one might expect for a newer fund, has been light in the early going, but on Tuesday of this week more than 4 million shares traded alone, likely the source of the recent inflows. IEFA tracks the MSCI EAFE Investable Market Index and unlike its predecessor, EFA (iShares MSCI EAFE Index), the fund only charges 14 basis points as its expense ratio (as opposed to 34 basis points).
IEFA owns 2,512 individual equity names representative of the European, Australasian, and Far East markets, whereas EFA itself only holds 912 names currently. If one examines the top holdings in both funds it will be obvious that the weightings are slightly different as well, due to the differentiated approach in composing the underlying basket to track the EAFE markets. [BlackRock Lists Four Core iShares ETFs]
For instance, the top weighted components of EFA are currently Nestle SA (1.92%), HSBC Holdings (1.75%), Novartis AG (1.32%), Roche Holding (1.29%), and BP PLC (1.20%). The holdings in IEFA are ranked identically, although the exact weightings vary as one might expect given the additional diversification built into the fund through the “expanded” EAFE universe with 2512 names. For example, Nestle SA is still the highest weighted component in IEFA, but comes in at 1.69% of the fund instead of 1.92%. How has this approach fared over the past few months since inception? [Core iShares ETF Family Gets Solid Reception]