The Asia-Pacific region usually is not the first international location income investors think of. When it comes to individual markets in the region, investors are apt to find a mixed bag. Japan and South Korea, while advanced, are not prime dividend destinations. Taiwan is one of the better dividend locales among emerging markets. Interest rates that are high compared to much of the developed world have help Australian and New Zealand single-country ETFs sport robust yields.
For the investor looking for some Asia-Pacific exposure with a solid yield, there is the iShares Asia/Pacific Dividend ETF (NYSEArca: DVYA). Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Singapore are the countries DVYA has exposure to, so conservative investors can find comfort in knowing this is not an emerging markets fund. The Asia Pacific region has been hobbled this year by slowing growth in emerging economies, but the outlook for markets such as China and South Korea for the rest of 2013 has improved noticeably in recent weeks. [S&P’s Favorite Asia ETFs]
Should that scenario play out, DVYA would benefit and deliver capital appreciation to investors. Investors willing to bet on DVYA in the near-term will be treated to a 30-day SEC yield of 4.9% and a beta of just 0.5% against the S&P 500, according to iShares data.
A deeper look at that DVYA reveals that investors are getting significant exposure to Australia. DVYA allocates 44.6% of its weight to world’s 12th-largest economy and that might not be a bad thing. Although the Australian dollar has slipped this year as the Reserve Bank of Australia has continued its rate-cutting campaign, stocks in Sydney have been steady and recently flirted with new highs after conservative Tony Abbott was elected prime minister. [Chart of the Day: Australia ETF]
DVYA’s 30-day SEC yield is 100 basis points higher than that of the iShares MSCI Australia ETF (NYSEArca: EWA) and about 80 basis points higher than what is found on the iShares MSCI New Zealand Capped ETF (NYSEArca: ENZL). New Zealand has been another steady Asia-Pacific market this year and ENZL has been gaining steam recently, rising 3.3% in the past month. The country is 9.6% of DVYA’s weight. [New Zealand ETF Could Escape Milk Powder Flap]