They are taking a break today, but regional bank equities and the relevant exchange traded funds have recently been solid performers.
Over the past 90 days, the SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF (NYSEArca: KRE), the largest regional bank ETF; iShares U.S. Regional Banks ETF (NYSEArca: IAT) and the PowerShares KBW Regional Bank Portfolio (NYSEArca: KBWR) are up an average of 5.9%, a gain that is nearly triple that of the Financial Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLF) over the same period. [Bank ETFs Breakout]
The regional bank resurgence is also benefiting an often overlooked leveraged ETF: The ProShares Ultra S&P Regional Banking (NYSEArca: KRU). Although regional bank ETFs have garnered favor among investors as Treasury yields have spiked, KRU is still an overlooked ETF. Its returns and the overall bull case surrounding regional banks indicate KRU deserves more attention.
Last month, KRU transitioned to tracking the S&P Regional Banks Select Industry Index, the largest U.S. regional banking index in terms of ETF assets.
“The S&P Regional Banks Select Industry Index is a modified equal-weighted index that seeks to provide diverse regional banking exposure. The index includes stocks of publicly traded companies that do business as regional banks or thrifts that are listed on a U.S. exchange and meet minimum market capitalization and liquidity conditions,” according to ProShares.
That is the underlying benchmark for KRE. So it can be said that KRU is a double-leveraged proxy for KRE, but over the past 90 days, KRU has done better than double KRE. The former is up 13.5% while the latter is higher by 6%.