In what has been another raucous year for Eurozone economic headlines, some ETFs tracking the region’s riskier countries have outperformed their steadier counterparts.
At least over the past four or five weeks as ETFs devoted to Greece and Italy, among others, have easily outpaced rival Germany and Nordic ETFs. [Europe’s Trash ETFs Become Treasure Troves]
Investors looking for the alluring combination of stellar returns without the risk of embracing one of the PIIGS nations have some options, but Switzerland stands out. That much is proven by the iShares MSCI Switzerland Capped Index Fund (NYSEArca: EWL), which has gained 14% year-to-date.
EWL, the largest Switzerland ETF, has delivered more than double returns of the iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund (NYSEArca: EWG) and outperformed the iShares MSCI Sweden Index Fund (NYSEArca: EWD) by more than 400 basis points this year. [A Switzerland ETF For Developed Market Exposure]
EWL’s success this year is attributable to several factors. First, Switzerland is part of a shrinking group of countries that still have the prestigious AAA credit rating. The U.S., Japan and France, just to name a few, cannot say the same.
Switzerland is not a member of the common currency program and the Swiss National Bank has helped insulate the country from the Eurozone’s economic travails by pegging the franc to the euro.
SNB “has shielded the economy from the effects of the slump in the euro region with its currency ceiling of 1.20 francs per euro. Such a policy has helped ensure Switzerland suffered only one quarter of contraction since the cap was imposed in September 2011, and an unemployment rate about a quarter of that in the 17-nation bloc,” reports Catherine Bosley for Bloomberg.