Skip to main content

Barclays Global Fund Advisors

has announced its estimated capital-gains distributions for iShares, the firm's exchange-traded index funds.

Unlike traditional

open-end mutual funds that price at the end of each trading day, exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, are fixed baskets of several stocks, often tied to an index, that trade on an exchange as a single security. ETFs are supposed to be more tax-efficient than actively traded mutual funds because they simply replicate the index -- since they don't tend to do much trading they tend to realize fewer taxable capital gains.

But when stocks enter and leave the index through rebalancing or mergers, they do realize some gains and Barclays recently released its estimated capital-gains distributions to shareholders. Most are modest, especially in comparison to some of the mammoth gains many traditional mutual funds have already paid out this year. The final figures will be available in December.

None of the iShares distribution estimates are over 2% of the funds' share prices, according to a Barclays statement. The high-water mark for cap-gains distributions is typically 10% of a fund's share prices.

TheStreet Recommends

The largest estimated distributions as a percentage of a fund's net assets are 2% for

iShares Dow Jones U.S. Internet Index

fund and 1.9% for

iShares Dow Jones U.S. Telecom Sector Index

fund. The largest iShares fund,

iShares S&P 500 Index

, which has $1.7 billion in assets, isn't expected to pay out a distribution.