iShares Tries Its Hand at Currency Hedged ETFs

BlackRock’s (NYSE: BLK) iShares unit, the world’s largest ETF sponsor, is finally throwing its hat into the currency hedge ETF ring with the debut of three ETFs Tuesday.

The iShares Currency Hedged MSCI Japan ETF (NYSEArca: HEWJ), iShares Currency Hedged MSCI Germany ETF (NYSEArca: HEWG) and iShares Currency Hedged MSCI EAFE ETF (NYSEArca: HEFA) commence trading today.

The iShares Currency Hedged MSCI EAFE ETF will have lowest annual fees among the new ETFs at 0.39% while HEWG, the Germany offering, will charge 0.53% per year. HEWJ will charge 0.48%, slight below the 0.5% charge by the db X-trackers MSCI Japan Hedged Equity Fund (NYSEArca: DBJP) and the same as the annual fee on the WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund (NYSEArca: DXJ). DXJ is by far the largest currency hedged ETF with $12.2 billion in assets under management. [Slumping Yen Boosts These ETFs]

With all three new ETFs, iShares will be competing with existing products from Deutsche Bank, WisdomTree or both. Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, the exchange traded funds unit of German banking giant Deutsche Bank offers 11 currency hedged ETFs after expanding its lineup by three last month. [Deutsche Expands Currency Hedged Lineup]