We have seen modest inflows in various European equity focused ETFs in the early going in 2014, which allows us an opportunity to highlight a product that is focused on investing in equities based in the United Kingdom, EWU (iShares MSCI United Kingdom, Expense Ratio 0.52%).
The ETF has been around since 1996, making it a true veteran in the ETP space, and the index currently has 109 individual equities included that are domiciled in the U.K. Top holdings are currently large cap names that should not be unfamiliar to anyone, such as HSBC Holdings PLC (6.93%), Vodafone Group PLC (6.44%), BP PLC (5.15%), Royal Dutch Shell PLC Class A (4.65%), and GlaxoSmithKline PLC (4.38%), with healthy allocations to both the Financial Services (20.03%) and Energy (16.23%) sectors.
EWU has pulled in more than $400 million in the first several weeks of 2014, which is not a number to sleep on given it accounts for about 10% of the overall assets under management in the fund itself.
Trading volume was extremely heavy during several sessions last week, and with earnings season upon us and with the ETF seemingly breaking out to new highs activity will most likely continue to be on the heavy side in the near term.
EWU is in fact the fifth largest ETF in the “European Equity” based category, behind some more diversified products that grant exposure to a broader array of European countries outside of just the U.K. (such as EZU (iShares MSCI EMU Index, Expense Ratio 0.52%), and VGK (Vanguard FTSE Europe, Expense Ratio 0.12%) for instance).