BlackRock’s (NYSE: BLK) iShares unit, the world’s largest issuer of exchange traded funds, expanded its already sizable lineup of U.S.-listed ETFs with the introduction of two new funds that are plays on investment themes that have been prominent this year.
The iShares Currency Hedged MSCI EMU ETF (NYSEArca: HEZU) is the issuer’s newest addition to its currency hedged lineup. Earlier this year, iShares launched 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).
Thus far, HEWG is the most popular of those ETFs with over $50 million in assets under management. [Don’t Forget These Hedged Currency ETFs]
HEZU tracks the MSCI EMU 100% USD Hedged Index, which is home to nearly 240 stocks. The new ETF carries an annual expense ratio of 0.51%.
Like HEWG and HEWJ before it, HEWG enters a field with established competition. The potential upside for the new ETF in terms of gathering assets stems from the European Central Bank’s recently announced efforts to stimulate Eurozone economies by way of weakening the euro. Some HEZU’s established competitors have seen their AUM totals swell this year in anticipation of favorable action from the ECB. [These Hedged Europe ETFs are Suddenly Popular]
The other new iShares ETF is the iShares Global REIT ETF (NYSEArca: REET). Relief in the form of declining 10-year Treasury yields for much of this year has stoked billions of dollars of inflows to REIT ETFs after the group dealt with a rough 2013 when Treasury yields spiked. [A Wonderful REIT ETF]
While a global offering, REET allocates 61% of its weight to U.S.-based REITs. That is seven and a half times the ETF’s allocation to Australia, its second-largest country weight. REET tracks the FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Global REIT Index and charges just 0.14%, putting the fund at the lower end of the REIT ETF fee spectrum.
“By investing worldwide, REET offers access to markets in various stages of expansion, with exposures ranging from emerging economies such as South Africa and Mexico to developed markets like the U.S., according to iShares. http://www.ishares.com/us/products/268752/REET
Other global REIT offerings from iShares include the $825.3 million iShares International Developed Real Estate ETF (NasdaqGM: IFGL) and the $183.1 million iShares International Property ETF (NYSEArca: WPS).
ETF Trends editorial team contributed to this post.
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