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Top 10 Eurozone Country ETFs

Stocks in this article: EWG EWD EWQ EWN NORW

NEW YORK ( ETF Digest) -- This region has been where the most recent controversy has plagued markets over the past year creating volatile and uncertain conditions. As this is occurring, markets are rebounding and reversing severe losses from 2011. That said, the markets within the region are hyper news driven and thus accident prone.

There are only 11 U.S. listed ETFs as single country funds. Separate from the union currently are England, Switzerland, Russia and Poland,for example, and it remains to be seen if they would even want to join given conditions. These country ETFs will be maintained in a separate list. Greece (GREK) is a new issue from Global X which also has funds in registration for Portugal, Hungary and Czechoslovakia among others.

We feature a technical view of conditions from monthly chart views. Simplistically, we recommend longer-term investors stay on the right side of the 12-month simple moving average. When prices are above the moving average, stay long, and when below remain in cash or short.

Premium members to the ETF Digest receive added signals when markets become extended such as DeMark triggers to exit overbought/oversold conditions.

 

#10: iShares Italy ETF (EWI)

EWI follows the MSCI Italy Index. The fund was launched in March 1996. The expense ratio is .54%. AUM equal $ 148 million (rising sharply since July 2011 as investors speculate on a successful bailout.) and average daily trading volume is (down by 40% since the same 2011 period) 324K shares.

As of mid-February 2012 the annual dividend yield was 4.36% and YTD return was 10.59% (a reversal from the lows of early November 2011 of -17.32 %.) The one year return was -25.56% which reflects the high volatility.

Data as of First Quarter 2012

EWI Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

  1. Eni SpA (ENI): 22.48%
  2. ENEL Ente Nazionale per L'Energ Elet SPA (ENEL): 10.70%
  3. Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (ISP): 8.03%
  4. Saipem (SPM): 4.79%
  5. Generali Assicurazioni (G): 4.64%
  6. Tenaris SA (TEN): 4.29%
  7. Snam SpA (SRG): 3.61%
  8. Fiat Industrial SpA (FI): 3.58%
  9. Telecom Italia SpA (TIT): 3.17%
  10. Unicredit Spa Rts Exp 27jan12: 2.74%

#9: iShares Spain ETF (EWP)

EWP follow the MSCI Spain Index. The fund was launched in March 1996. The expense ratio is .54%. AUM equal $118 million and average daily trading volume is 131K shares.

As of mid-February 2012 the annual dividend yield was 9.52% (can it hold?) and YTD return was 4.89%. The one year return was -15.38% which reflects the high volatility, sovereign and bank credit downgrades.

Data as of First Quarter 2012

EWP Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

  1. Telefonica SA (TEF): 20.73%
  2. Banco Santander SA (SAN): 19.43%
  3. Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (BBVA): 11.29%
  4. Industria de Diseño Textil,S.A."inditex" (ITX): 5.04%
  5. Repsol YPF SA (REPYF): 4.88%
  6. Iberdrola SA (IBE): 4.47%
  7. Abertis Infraestructuras SA (ABE): 2.80%
  8. Gas Natural Sdg, S.A. (GAS): 2.50%
  9. ACS Actividades de Construccion y Servicios SA (ACS): 2.23%
  10. Red Electrica de España, S.A. (REE): 2.17%

#8: iShares Ireland ETF (EIRL)

EIRL follows the MSCI Ireland Investable Market 25/50 Index. The fund was launched in May 2010. The expense ratio is .53%. AUM equal $7.5 million which is attributable to its more recent launch and current uncertainties. Average daily trading volume is 10K shares.

As of mid-February 2012 the annual dividend yield was 2.04% and YTD return was 10.32%. The one year return was -1.31%.

Data as of First Quarter 2012

EIRL Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

  1. CRH PLC (CRH): 21.92%
  2. Elan Corp PLC (DRX): 13.15%
  3. Kerry Group PLC (KRZ): 10.10%
  4. Smurfit Kappa Group PLC (SK3): 5.10%
  5. Bank of Ireland (Governor & Company of) (BIR): 5.09%
  6. Ryanair Holdings PLC ADR (RYAAY): 4.55%
  7. Kingspan Group PLC (KRX): 4.44%
  8. Paddy Power PLC (PLS): 4.33%
  9. C&C Group (GCC): 4.29%
  10. DCC PLC (DCC): 4.27%

#7: iShares Belgium ETF (EWK)

EWK follows the MSCI Investable Belgium Market Index. The fund was launched in March 1996. The expense ratio is .54%. AUM equal $27 million (down nearly by half since July 2011) with average daily trading volume of 32K shares.

As of mid-February 2012 the annual dividend yield was 5.09% and YTD return was 8.31%. The one year return was -11.54%..

Data as of First Quarter 2012

EWK Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

  1. Anheuser-Busch InBev SA (AHBIF): 24.06%
  2. Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (GBLB): 6.25%
  3. Delhaize Group SA (DELB): 6.16%
  4. Belgacom SA (BELG): 6.08%
  5. Solvay SA (SOLB): 6.03%
  6. Umicore (UMI): 5.04%
  7. Colruyt Sa (COLR): 4.44%
  8. UCB SA (UCB): 4.43%
  9. Ageas NV (AGS): 3.87%
  10. Elia System Operator (ELI): 3.56%

#6: iShares Austria ETF (EWO)

EWO follows the MSCI Austria Investable Index. The fund was launched in March 1996. AUM equal $72 million (down 50% since July 2011) and average daily trading volume is 110K shares. As of mid-February 2012 the annual dividend yield was 3.82% and YTD return was 13.92% (a reversal from the lows of early November 2011 of -17.32 %.) The one year return was -25.56% which reflects the high volatility.

It should be noted Austria serves as one of the major financial centers for Eastern Europe along with Switzerland.

Data as of First Quarter 2012

Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

  1. Omv AG (OMVJF): 12.81%
  2. Erste Bank der oesterreichischen Sparkassen AG (EBS): 10.25%
  3. Voest-Alpine AG (VLPNF): 9.67%
  4. Telekom Austria AG (TKA): 9.37%
  5. Andritz AG (ANDR): 8.41%
  6. Immofinanz Immobilien Anlagen AG (IIA): 4.53%
  7. Vienna Insurance Group (0MZX): 4.26%
  8. Verbund AG (VER): 4.17%
  9. Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI): 3.88%
  10. Wienerberger Baustoffindustrie AG (WIE): 3.32%

#5: Global X Norway ETF (NORW)

NORW follows the FTSE Norway 30 Index which measures the broad equity market performance of Norway. The fund was launched in November 2010. The expense ratio is .50%. AUM equal $50 million and average daily trading volume is 71K shares.

As of mid-February 2012 the annual dividend yield was 2.72% and YTD return was 15.15%. The one year return was -8.66%.

Data as of First Quarter 2012

NORW Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

  1. Statoil ASA (STL): 21.73%
  2. Telenor ASA (TEL): 9.77%
  3. DNB ASA (DNB): 9.28%
  4. Yara International ASA (YAR): 6.36%
  5. Seadrill Ltd (SDRL): 5.86%
  6. Orkla (ORK): 4.82%
  7. Norsk Hydro ASA (NHYKF): 4.51%
  8. Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. (RCL): 4.31%
  9. Subsea 7 SA (SUBC): 4.27%
  10. Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS): 2.79%

#4: iShares Netherlands ETF (EWN)

EWN follows the MSCI Netherlands Investable Market Index. The fund was launched in March 1996. The expense ratio is .53%. AUM equal $65 million and averaged daily trading volume is 77K shares.

As of mid-February 2012 the annual dividend yield was 3.06% and YTD return was 4.70%. The one year return was -16.40%.

Data as of First Quarter 2012

EWN Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

  1. Unilever NV (UNA): 20.07%
  2. ING Groep N.V. (INGA): 13.04%
  3. Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV (PHIA): 7.42%
  4. Koninklijke (Royal) KPN NV (KPN): 6.27%
  5. ASML Holding NV (ASMLF): 4.74%
  6. Akzo Nobel NV (AKZOF): 4.59%
  7. Koninklijke Ahold NV (AH): 4.56%
  8. Heineken N.V. (HEIA): 4.55%
  9. Reed Elsevier NV (REN): 3.24%
  10. Aegon NV (AEGOF): 3.13%

#3: iShares France ETF (EWQ)

EWQ follows the MSCI France Index. The fund was launched in March 1996. The expense ratio is .54%. AUM equal $261million and average daily trading volume is 298K shares. As of mid-February 2012 the annual dividend yield was 3.22% and YTD return was 8.48%.

The one year return was -16.69% which reflects the high volatility.

Data as of First Quarter 2012

EWQ Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

  1. Total SA (FP): 12.10%
  2. Sanofi (SAN): 9.05%
  3. BNP Paribas (BNP): 4.97%
  4. LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (MC): 4.37%
  5. Air Liquide (AI): 3.95%
  6. Danone (BN): 3.92%
  7. GDF Suez (GSZ): 3.59%
  8. Schneider Electric (SU): 3.38%
  9. France Telecom SA (FTE): 3.03%
  10. AXA SA (CS): 2.98%

#2: iShares Sweden ETF (EWD)

EWD follows the MSCI Sweden Index. The fund was launched in March 1996. The expense ratio is .52%. AUM equal $338 million and average daily trading volume is 275K shares.

As of mid-February 2012 the annual dividend yield was 3.89% and YTD return was 12.01%. The one year return was -7.96%.

Data as of First Quarter 2012

EWD Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

  1. Hennes & Mauritz AB (HM B): 10.87%
  2. Ericsson Telephone Company (ERIXF): 9.75%
  3. Nordea Bank AB (NDA SEK): 7.04%
  4. Volvo Corporation (VOLVF): 5.72%
  5. Atlas Copco (ATCO A): 5.07%
  6. Sandvik AB (SDVKF): 4.66%
  7. TeliaSonera AB (TLSN): 4.63%
  8. Svenska Handelsbanken (SHB A): 4.60%
  9. Swedbank AB (SWED A): 3.80%
  10. Svenska Cellulosa AB (SCA B): 3.07%

#1: iShares German ETF (EWG)

EWG follows the MSCI Germany Index and nothing really needs to be said beyond this. The fund was launched in March 1996. The expense ratio is .53%. AUM equal $3 billion and average daily trading volume is nearly 4M shares. As of mid-February 2012 the annual dividend yield was 3.17% and YTD return was 14.88%. The one year return was -12.21%.

Data as of First Quarter 2012

EWG Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

  1. Siemens AG (SIE): 10.26%
  2. Basf SE (BFFAF): 8.61%
  3. Bayer AG (BAYN): 7.00%
  4. Sap AG ADR (SAP): 6.47%
  5. Allianz SE (ALIZF): 6.18%
  6. Daimler AG (DDAIF): 6.01%
  7. Deutsche Bank AG (DB): 4.95%
  8. E.ON Aktiengesellschaft (EOAN): 4.55%
  9. Deutsche Telekom AG (DTE): 3.92%
  10. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BAMXF): 3.37%

We rank the top 10 ETF by our proprietary stars system as outlined below. However, given that we're sorting these by both short and intermediate issues we have split the rankings as we move from one classification to another.

 


Strong established linked index
Excellent consistent performance and index tracking
Low fee structure
Strong portfolio suitability
Excellent liquidity


Established linked index even if "enhanced"
Good performance or more volatile if "enhanced" index
Average to higher fee structure
Good portfolio suitability or more active management if "enhanced" index
Decent liquidity


Enhanced or seasoned index
Less consistent performance and more volatile
Fees higher than average
Portfolio suitability would need more active trading
Average to below average liquidity


Index is new
Issue is new and needs seasoning
Fees are high
Portfolio suitability also needs seasoning
Liquidity below average

The eurozone and EMU (European Monetary Union) is a cauldron of episodic controversy these days. One day things look better and the next the entire EU and EMU appears as it will collapse. It's my belief these issues will continue for a long time. Therefore, investors are advised to follow the monthly 12 period moving average as noted above until a real fix is in place. When prices finally rise above the monthly 12 period moving averages it may act as a confirmation for you. Currently, with only a week to go in February, some markets are moving above this level. 

iShares dominates the list having been first to the single country ETFs many years ago. At some point, it should be expected that lower cost sponsors will attempt to enter the fray whether it be Focus Shares, Schwab or Vanguard to name a few.

As stated with other sectors, remember ETF sponsors must issue and their interests aren't necessarily aligned with yours. They have a business interest and wish to have a competitive presence in any popular sector.

For further information about portfolio structures using technical indicators like DeMark and other indicators, take a free 14-day trial at ETF Digest . Follow us on Twitter and Facebook as well and join our group conversations.

 

You may address any feedback to: feedback@etfdigest.com   

 

The ETF Digest is long EWG, NORW and EIRL in a Lazy Portfolio and on our Selected ETF menu.

 

(Source for data is from ETF sponsors and various ETF data providers.)

This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

Dave Fry is founder and publisher of ETF Digest, Dave's Daily blog and the best-selling book author of Create Your Own ETF Hedge Fund, A DIY Strategy for Private Wealth Management, published by Wiley Finance in 2008. A detailed bio is here: Dave Fry.

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