iShares, the world's largest purveyor of ETFs, is planning to
add another high-dividend-focused fund to its roster of ETFs as
well as two regional equities strategies that would tap into
emerging and frontier markets in Africa and in the Gulf region.
While the dividend-ETF space seems to be well-trodden these days
thanks to a flurry of launches that have sought to capture investor
demand for income-generating strategies, investing in growing
African and Middle East economies remains a little less
Fund providers like WisdomTree, Van Eck and PowerShares have
their own take on regional frontier funds, but they are still small
and largely devoid of exposure to booming African economies such as
Nigeria and Kenya. The PowerShares MENA Frontier Countries ETF
(NYSEArca:PMNA) is perhaps one of the largest in the space, with
$16 million in total assets.
Still, iShares' filing speaks to the growing demand for frontier
and emerging markets strategies, as U.S. investors look to add
exposure to international equities at a time of slow economic
growth across much of the developed world, particularly those that
go beyond the traditional emerging markets staple BRIC-Brazil,
India, China and Russia.
In three separate filings submitted to regulators this week,
iShares outlined plans for the following funds:
The iShares MSCI USA High Dividend Yield Index Fund tracks a
market-capitalization-weighted MSCI index comprising companies that
have delivered a higher-than-average dividend yield-at least 30
percent higher than the yield of the MSCI USA Index. The companies
also need to show a five-year history of "non-negative" dividends
per-share growth. Consumer staples, energy and health care dominate
The iShares MSCI GCC Countries ex Saudi Arabia Index Fund is by
many measures a frontier market fund, as it serves up exposure to
equities from Gulf Cooperation Council (
) countries excluding Saudi Arabia. Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar
and United Arab Emirates make up the portfolio, which is heavily
allocated to financials, industrials and telecommunications.
The iShares MSCI EFM Africa ex South Africa Fund tracks a
free-float-adjusted market-capitalization index comprising equities
from six African emerging and frontier countries such as Egypt,
Kenya, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia. Consumer staples,
financials and industrial names dominate the exposure.
No tickers or fees were disclosed in any of the filings.
Permalink | 'copy; Copyright 2009 IndexUniverse LLC. All rights
Don't forget to check IndexUniverse.com's ETF Data
2012 IndexUniverse LLC
. All Rights Reserved.