Up more than 14% this year, the iShares MSCI Denmark Capped ETF (BATS: EDEN) is one of 2015’s best-performing single-country Europe exchange traded funds although the lone Denmark ETF does not command the attention of its Germany and U.K. counterparts.
Buoyed by robust health care exposure and an accomodative central bank, EDEN has outpaced an array of larger Europe single-country ETFs this year. Earlier in 2015, Denmark’s central bank cut its deposit rate to minus 0.75% from minus 0.5% to devalue its krone currency, which has been attracting Eurozone investors who are starved for yields after the European Central Bank enacted an aggressive bond-purchasing program, reports Charles Duxbury for the Wall Street Journal. The Danish central bank is maintaining a euro exchange rate peg to stabilize inflation and support exporters.
One reason for EDEN’s impressive returns is its health care exposure, which checks in at almost 41%. The ETF’s largest holding, Danish pharmaceuticals giant Novo Nordisk (NYSE: NVO), accounts for over 24% of the fund’s weight, more than triple the weight given to any of the ETF’s other 37 holdings. Those are advantages in a year when investors have prized health care stocks and ETFs. [Health Care ETFs Lead the Way]
“Because of Denmark’s well managed and stable economy the Danish Krone is considered one of the world’s ‘safe haven’ currencies. So much so, the central bank has kept its base deposit rates below zero to discourage ‘a flood’ of capital inflows which would strengthen the Krone and depress Denmark’s export economy. The point being is that Denmark’s reputation as a financial safe haven is on par with that of Switzerland, or the U.K. or even the U.S.,” according to Seeking Alpha.
Still, EDEN is not a free lunch. Western sanctions against Russia have proven problematic for EDEN. Danish farmers are major exporters to Russia and Danish banks have significant exposure to those farmers. Falling commodities prices coupled with the Russian sanctions are leading to an increased amount of sour agriculture loans in Denmark, relevant to EDEN because the ETF has a large weight to bank stocks.
“Lastly, Denmark’s National Bank has gone to extraordinary efforts to keep its currency on track for Euro adoption. For a nation as small and productive as Denmark, being an integral part of the larger Eurozone economy will be very beneficial,” adds Seeking Alpha.
iShares MSCI Denmark Capped ETF
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.