The MSCI EAFE Index is seeing a lift this morning, with the largest ETF in the space EFA (iShares MSCI EAFE, Expense Ratio 0.34%) trading at its highest level since the beginning of the trading year 2015, and we also saw activity in February 61 calls in the name on Friday.
EFA maintains a noticeable lead over the next largest fund in the space, VEA (Vanguard Europe Pacific, Expense Ratio 0.09%) with greater than $51.8 billion in assets under management versus $23.9 billion.
These two funds account for the bulk of collective assets under management invested in the greater category of “Foreign Large Cap Equity” ETFs, with other notables in the space being IDV (iShares DJ EPAC Select Dividend, Expense Ratio 0.50%) and IEFA (iShares Core MSCI EAFE, Expense Ratio 0.14%) which are much newer to the marketplace than the two giants EFA and VEA, but building momentum in terms of asset raising over time.
Outside of these funds, Schwab has an offering here as well, SCHF (Schwab International Equity, Expense Ratio 0.08%) which has attracted more than $2.7 billion since inception, and iShares also notably offers the “Value” and “Growth” sleeves of the MSCI EAFE Index via EFV (iShares MSCI EAFE Value, Expense Ratio 0.40%) and EFG (iShares MSCI EAFE Value, Expense Ratio 0.40%), which have $2.4 billion and $1.3 billion in AUM respectively.
EFA and VEA alike are “Europe” heavy in terms of their overall equity exposures, with >50% and >47% weightings respectively to European stocks, followed by notable weightings to Japan (about 21% each). Stocks such as Nestle SA, Novartis AG, Roche Holdings AG, HSBC Holdings, and Toyota Motor Corp. are the top five weighted names in the MSCI EAFE Index currently, across about nine hundred thirty five individual equities.