The ETF marketplace has a newcomer. Northern Trust Global Investments has introduced a lineup of 12 foreign equity exchange-traded funds. The funds will track established global stock market benchmarks. It’s the Chicago-based bank’s first foray into the ETF marketplace.
The new funds will compete directly with the single-country ETFs offered by Barclays Global Investors. The Barclays iShares country funds mirror MSCI indexes and charge annual expense ratios that range from 0.54 to 0.74 percent. Among the largest iShares country funds in terms of assets, are Japan (EWJ) and Brazil (EWZ). Both ETFs have around $8 billion in them.
Northern Trust has some catching up to do, but it hopes to do it with fund expenses that rival competing international ETFs. The institution’s NETS country ETFs will charge expense ratios that range from 0.47 to 0.65 percent.
According to ETFguide.com those costs are in line with the median expense ratio for the 133 international ETFs in its database, which charge 0.52 percent.
Nine of the funds will focus on developed international stock markets, like Australia, France, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom. Three funds will be centered on emerging market stocks in China, Singapore, and South Africa.