ETF Dividends Could be Pinched by Swissie Spike

Novartis and Roche combine for 29% for EWL’s weight and are marquee holdings in ETF’s such as VGK and the iShares Europe ETF (NYSEArca: IEV). Concerns about reduced Swiss dividends at the hands of a stronger franc run counter to Switzerland’s normally dependable status as a European dividend growth destination.

For example, it is expected that Swiss dividends grew over 8% last year, led by Nestle (OTC: NSRGY), Novartis and Roche. [ETFs for Europe’s Rising Dividends]

Estimates indicate that in 2014, the 20 largest firms listed on Switzerland’s benchmark Swiss Market Index paid a record $37.2 billion in dividends. Another important fact for income investors to consider: Swiss dividends are top heavy, meaning the five largest SMI member firms accounted for 70% of the country’s payouts last year. Those companies, including Nestle and Novartis, are among the Swiss companies must often found in U.S.-listed diversified Europe ETFs.

The $1.44 billion iShares Global Healthcare ETF (NYSEArca: IXJ) allocates over 11% of its combined weight to Novartis and Roche while the First Trust Switzerland AlphaDEX Fund (NYSEArca: FSZ) has a combined weight of 6.9% to Adecco, Novartis, Nestle and Roche.

iShares MSCI Switzerland Capped ETF