iShares, PowerShares Launch 5 ETFs; Global X Shuts 3

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ETF providers rolled out a batch of funds while closing a raft of others this month. Here's an overview:

New iShares Core ETFs

Blackrock's iShares unit, the world's biggest ETF provider, launched four ETFs Monday in its new "Core" family that comes with rock-bottom annual management fees:

1.iShares Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF charges 0.16% in fees vs. 0.18% forVanguard Total International Stock ETF ( VXUS ). Of 44 countries in the ETF, U.K.-based companies account for 15% of assets, Japan 14%, Canada 8%, Australia 6%, Switzerland 6%, Germany 6%. It holds 6,136 stocks.

2.IShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF   charges 0.18% vs. 0.67% foriShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ) and 0.20% forVanguard MSCI Emerging Markets ETF ( VWO ).

With 2,622 stocks, Chinese firms make up 17% of the portfolio, South Korea 16%, Taiwan 12%, Brazil 12%, South Africa 8%, India 7%, Russia 5%, Mexico 5% and Malaysia 4%. The remaining 14% is spread among 12 other countries.

3.IShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF   charges 0.14% vs. 0.34% foriShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund ( EFA ) and 0.12% forVanguard MSCI EAFE ETF ( VEA ). It has 3,169 stocks from 22 developed countries.

4.IShares Core Short-Term U.S. Bond ETF charges 0.12% vs. 0.11% forVanguard Short Term Bond ETF (BSV). Holdings are not available currently.

"This allows BlackRock to compete more effectively against Schwab and Vanguard as cost savings have helped them undercut iShares in the past," said Christian Magoon, CEO of Magoon Capital.

New PowerShares Fund

Invesco PowerShares introduced PowerShares S&P 500 High Dividend Portfolio (SPHD) Thursday. It tracks the S&P 500 Low Volatility High Dividend Index. It screens for stocks that have juicy dividend yields and the lowest volatility. As of Sept. 30, SPHD had a yield of 4.51% vs. 2% for SPDR S&P 500ETF (SPY).

The 50-stock portfolio weights utilities at 22% of assets, consumer staples 16%, financials 13%, telecom 10%, health care 10% and industrials 9%. It charges investors 0.30% of assets a year for expenses.

SPHD will compete withiShares High Dividend Equity Index Fund (HDV),SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY) andPowerShares High Yield Equity Dividend Achievers Portfolio (PEY).

ETF Closures

WisdomTree Investments is closing down three thinly traded ETFs. These will stop trading Dec. 3 and be liquidated on Dec. 10:

1.WisdomTree LargeCap Growth Fund (ROI) with $14.29 million in assets.

2.WisdomTree Dreyfus South African Rand Fund (SZR) with $4.54 million in assets.

3.WisdomTree Dreyfus Japanese Yen Fund (JYF) with $6.56 million in assets.

Niche-ETF provider Global X Funds also shuttered a batch of thinly traded ETFs. These stopped trading Oct. 18 and will be fully liquidated Oct. 26:

1.Global X Aluminum ETF with $2.37 million in assets.

2.Global X Auto ETF   with $1.96 million in assets.

3.Global X Nasdaq 500 ETF with $1.47 million in assets.

4.Global X Nasdaq 400 Mid Cap with $1.42 million in assets.

So far this year, 89 ETFs have closed down -- the most ever -- according to IndexUniverse.com. That's more than double last year's total of 38.

Ron Rowland's ETF Deathwatch List on InvestWithAnEdge.com lists 387 ETFs, about a fourth of all ETFs on the market. They're the most likely to be folded because of low trading volume and assets.

IPath Long Enhanced MSCI EAFE ETN (MFLA) hasn't traded a single share since January. It's been on the market for nearly two years. Owing to poor liquidity, it has a very wide bid/ask price of 100.00/165.02, as of Monday. That means you would automatically be down $65.02 a share, or 65%, upon buying it.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , ETFs

Referenced Stocks: EEM , EFA , VEA , VWO , VXUS

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