WisdomTree (NasdaqGS: WETF), the fifth-largest U.S. issuer of exchange traded funds, added to its lineup today with two new ETFs.
New York-based WisdomTree added to its already expansive lineup of currency hedged ETFs with the debut of the WisdomTree International Hedged Equity Fund (NYSEArca: HDWM). The WisdomTree International Hedged Equity Fund offers investors exposure to ex-U.S. and Canada developed markets dividend payers while limiting currency risk via the currency hedged kicker.
The new ETF allocates 23.6% of its weight to U.K. stocks and another 14.2% to Japanese stocks. None of the other 19 countries represented in the new ETF command double digit weights. The U.K. is one of the best, if not the best, ex-U.S. dividend market. In 2014, U.K. firms once again offered excellent dividend growth. Payouts there surged 31% to $135 billion, according to Henderson Global Investors. [Good Timing for This new ETF]
Compared to other developed market destinations, such as the U.S., U.K. and Australia, Japan has a long way to go to prove its dividend mettle. However, the payout situation in historically low-yielding Japan is improving. For example, WisdomTree’s Japan dividend stream last year reached a new high of nearly 8 trillion yen, up 14.6% from the 2008. In dollar terms, the Dividend Stream also reached a new high of $77.2 billion, an increase of 4.5% from the 2012 high, according to WisdomTree.
As the issuer notes, HDWM is the essentially the currency hedged answer to the $682 million WisdomTree DEFA Fund (NYSEArca: DWM). DWM tracks an index where 43% of the constituents have dividend yields north of 3.7%. HDWM charges 0.35% per year.