And like EWL and EWK, EWN features an out-sized weight to just one staples stock. In the case of EWN, it is an 18.3% weight to Unilever (NYSE: UN). But as Nestle (PK: NSRGY), among others, helped EWL to an all-time last Friday and Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE: BUD) has EWK higher by 8.1% this year, Unilever’s 10% year-to-date gain has not boosted EWN. [Belgium ETF Shines]
EWN’s trailing of comparable single-country Europe ETFs could be a sign that slack data are taking a toll on the country’s industrial sector (16.7% of EWN’s weight) or investors are concerned about the strength of Dutch banks (21.2% of EWN’s weight).
On the latter point, Fitch Ratings recently said it sees the largest Dutch banks as well-capitalized.
“We believe the banks will maintain solid capitalisation, especially as challenges in the domestic market appear to be easing. We revised 2014 GDP growth to 0.7% from 0% in March. ING’s 1Q14 results published today show early signs of loan impairment charges receding and we expect similar trends at other Dutch banks, although these are likely to stay high in the medium term,” said the ratings agency.
iShares MSCI Netherlands ETF