From the December 2010 issue of Research Magazine • Subscribe!

December 1, 2010

Looking Far and Small

Emerging market stocks are back in rally mode, which means more new funds targeting this category. It also has brought a growing focus on small cap stocks in these markets.

BlackRock introduced the iShares MSCI Brazil Small Cap Index Fund (EWZS), iShares MSCI China Small Cap Index Fund (ECNS) and the iShares MSCI Philippines Investable Market Index Fund (EPHE).

“The new iShares single country emerging market ETFs provide financial professionals, institutions and individuals access to emerging markets that have potential for strong economic growth and moderate inflation,” said Noel Archard, head of US Product R&D for iShares. “The new iShares funds further enhance our large single country iShares ETF lineup to respond to investors’ requests for greater precision in implementing their international-focused investment strategies and interest in getting deeper access to small capitalization stocks to help diversify portfolios.”

BlackRock’s introduction of small cap emerging market ETFs signals it won’t concede to competing ETF providers with similar offerings.

Van Eck launched the Market Vectors Brazil Small-Cap ETF (BRF) in May 2009 and has gathered around $729 million in assets. BRF has an expense ratio of 0.65 percent and is ahead by around 15 percent year-to-date.

ECNS will compete with the Guggenheim China Small Cap ETF (HAO) which has an expense ratio of 0.70 percent. The annual expenses for all three new iShares emerging market ETFs are 0.65 percent.

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