State Street Global Advisors, the investment management arm of State Street Corporation, has launched the SPDR S&P International Dividend ETF (DWX). The fund will track the S&P International Dividend Opportunities Index, which includes 100 exchange-listed stocks from around the world that offer high dividend yields.

“The SPDR S&P International Dividend ETF was developed in response to strong demand from our clients seeking the competitive yield opportunities available from foreign company dividends, which have historically yielded more than those of U.S. companies,” said Anthony Rochte, senior managing director at State Street.

Along with high dividends, other selection factors for stocks in the index are a minimum total market capitalization of $1.5 billion, positive 5-year earnings growth and profitability, and trading volume of at least 300,000 shares for each of the preceding six months. The fund’s expense ratio is 0.45 percent.

The new SPDR fund will join ETFs like the PowerShares International Dividend Achievers Fund (PID) and WisdomTree DEFA High-Yielding Equity Fund (DTH) that have a similar index strategy of weighting international stocks according to dividends.

At the end of 2007, State Street managed more than $158 billion in ETF assets worldwide.

Ron DeLegge is the San Diego-based editor of www.etfguide.com.