|iShares Launches Eight Eurozone Sovereign ETFs|
|May 09, 2012 13:20 (CET)|
As the sovereign crisis continues to rumble along, iShares has launched a new range of single-country ETFs allowing investors to pick and choose which countries are ‘safe haven’ enough for their risk profile.
The issuer has introduced eight new funds: the iShares Barclays Austria Treasury Bond ETF, the iShares Barclays Belgium Treasury Bond ETF, and six others focused on Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.
The ETFs will invest in fixed rate debt issued by the government of each country, buying only bonds that have at least one year until maturity.
The launches are significant in a market that offers mostly broader pan-European funds in the government bond space. Since the eurozone crisis began, however, many investors have shied away from peripheral countries and the credit rating gap among European countries has widened, leaving many seeking more granular exposure to sovereign debt.
Although there are many ETFs offering exposure to German government bonds already in the marketplace, and a smaller number tracking France and Italy, the new funds are firsts for the rest of the countries in iShares’ new range.
Axel Lomholt, head of iShares product development EMEA, said: “Investors are allocating to fixed income in a more granular way than ever before. This new series of single country eurozone debt exposures will allow them to invest and express their views in a more precise fashion. The ETFs can be used to overweight or underweight bonds in fixed income portfolios on a country basis, according to an investor’s risk and return expectations and objectives, as well as to implement core allocations."
The new products have been listed on the London Stock Exchange and are physically-backed funds. All have total expense ratios of 0.20 percent.