Currency Hedged EAFE ETF Continues Torrid Asset-Gathering Pace

The Deutsche X-trackers MSCI EAFE Hedged Equity ETF (NYSEArca: DBEF) was one of 112 exchange traded funds that hit all-time highs Wednesday, but that may not be the most impressive anecdote associated with the fund.

DBEF, which does not turn four years old until June, is now home to nearly $6.1 billion in assets under management. To be precise, as of March 17, DBEF’s assets under management tally was $6.08 billion. That easily makes DBEF one of the largest U.S.-listed currency hedged ETFs, but the fund’s rapid growth deserves proper context.

In mid-October, DBEF had just over $800 million in assets under management. That number grew to $4.6 billion by the end of February, so in the span of just about two trading weeks, DBEF has tacked on almost $1.5 billion in new assets. [ETFs That Have Doubled in Size]

With the U.S. dollar crushing rival developed market currencies, the currency hedged ETF movement looks like it is still in the early innings. That even after investors have poured over $12 billion (as of March 9) into the ETFs that strip out foreign currency risk while capitalizing on dollar strength.

Assets in currency hedged ETFs have swelled by $36 billion over the past three years and, importantly, 90% of the $12 billion that has gone into the funds this year has flowed to products that are not dedicated Japan ETFs, according to a new research piece by Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management head of ETF Strategy Dodd Kittsley. [Currency Hedged ETF Craze Just Starting]

Three currency hedged ETFs, including DBEF, are among the top 10 asset-gathering ETFs this year. Only two ETFs have seen greater inflows this year than the Deutsche Asset and Wealth Management offering.