It is just two months old, but the WisdomTree Europe Dividend Growth Fund (NYSEArca: EUDG) is already showing it is a credible option for doing what its name implies: Capturing European dividend growth.
In the two months since EUDG debuted, the ETF has collected almost $14 million in assets and traded slightly lower. The latter point is almost entirely the result of the past week’s slump for European stocks caused by concerns over the strength of Portugal’s financial services sector. Portugal is the smallest of the 15 countries represented in EUDG at a weight of just 0.25%. [Bank Woes Weigh on Portugal ETF]
EUDG tracks the WisdomTree Europe Dividend Growth Index, “a fundamentally weighted index that measures the performance of dividend-paying common stocks with growth characteristics selected from the WisdomTree DEFA Index,” according to WisdomTree.
Although Eurozone dividend growth has lagged that of other developed markets, such as Australia, the U.K. and the U.S., in recent years, evidence suggests that trend is changing for the better. For example, WisdomTree’s Europe Dividend Stream has grown 12.4% year-over-year.
The largest Dividend Stream growth was seen by Spain, just 2.71% of EUDG’s weight, but the ETF is still significantly allocated to some of Europe’s best dividend growth markets. New research by WisdomTree Research Director Jeremy Schwartz shows year-over-year Dividend Stream growth for Switzerland, the U.K. and France averaged 15%. Those are three of EUDG’s four largest country weights combining for 54.6% of the ETF’s weight.
As has been seen in the U.S., on a percentage basis, European financial services firms have recently been impressive dividend growers. But as is the case with their U.S. peers, European financials are coming off a low dividend base due to rampant payout cuts and suspensions during the financial crisis. Financials in the WisdomTree Dividend Stream have grown payouts by nearly 21% year-over-year, according to Schwartz’s research.