BlackRock’s (NYSE: BLK) iShares unit, the world’s largest issuer of exchange traded funds, today added to its lineup of low volatility ETFs with the introduction of three global funds.
The new ETFs are the iShares MSCI Europe Minimum Volatility ETF (NYSEArca: EUMV), the iShares MSCI Japan Minimum Volatility ETF(NYSEArca: JPMV) and the iShares MSCI Asia ex Japan Minimum Volatility ETF (NYSEArca: AXJV). EUMV will charge 0.25% per year while JPMV will charge 0.3%. The annual fee on AXJ is 0.35%.
“The iShares Minimum Volatility ETFs are designed to track the Minimum Volatility Indices by MSCI, one of the world’s largest and most well-established index providers and the gold standard for international investing. The Indices seek to capture the movements of broad equity markets with a reduced amount of risk. MSCI constructs an optimal mix of less volatile stocks by examining the respective parent market capitalization-weighted MSCI Indices, evaluating the volatility of each individual stock and the correlations between stocks, all while applying a number of constraints to ensure the portfolio is sufficiently diversified and maintains the main characteristics of the broad market index,” said BlackRock in a statement.
The new ETFs add to the already successful lineup of iShares low volatility ETFs, the oldest of which debuted in 2011. Those funds have a combined $7 billion in assets under management and include the $2.6 billion iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility ETF (NYSEArca: USMV) and the $1.9 billion iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Minimum Volatility ETF (NYSEArca: EEMV). [Low Vol Approach Works With Global ETFs]
The iShares MSCI Europe Minimum Volatility ETF is heavily concentrated in non-Eurozone nations with more than 51% of the new ETF’s combined weight allocated to the U.K. and Switzerland Denmark, Norway and Sweden combining for another 11%, according to iShares data.