Invesco PowerShares, the Wheaton, Ill.-based firm behind the world’s biggest Nasdaq 100 ETF, today launched two international high-beta index equity funds that screen for stocks strongly correlated with broad movements in their respective markets. One is focused on developed countries and the other targets emerging market companies.
The two funds, their tickers and their net annual expense ratios are as follows:
- PowerShares S&P Emerging Markets High Beta Portfolio (NYSEArca: EEHB) comes with a net expense ratio of 0.29 total expense ratio, which includes a 0.16 percent fee waiver through April 20, 2013.
- PowerShares S&P International Developed High Beta Portfolio (NYSEArca: IDHB) comes with a net expense ratio of 0.25 percent, which includes a 10-basis-point fee waiver through April 20, 2013.
The two ETFs are follow-ups to the PowerShares S&P 500 High Beta Portfolio (NYSEArca: SPHB), a $67.6 million U.S.-focused fund that uses a similar indexing methodology that selects securities that exhibit the highest beta on a rolling 12-month basis. Beta is a measure of how closely correlated a stock's returns are to that of the market.
More broadly, the two new funds mark PowerShares’ latest launch of so-called smart beta funds, the most conspicuous of which is its $1.26 billion blockbuster the PowerShares S&P 500 Low Volatility Portfolio (NYSEArca: SPLV). Contrary to the high-beta ETFs, SPLV screens out the lowest-volatility stocks on a rolling 12-month basis.
SPLV’s astonishing success has provided the ETF industry with a clear signal that investors are open to finding ways to cope with all the uncertainty that has gripped markets since the stock market collapse of 2008-2009. In that context, it’s no surprise that PowerShares and other fund sponsors, including Russell and iShares, are launching so many smart beta ETFs.
SPLV—like SPHB as of today—has two international counterparts, the PowerShares S&P International Developed Low Volatility Portfolio (NYSEArca: IDLV) and the PowerShares S&P Emerging Markets Low Volatility Portfolio (NYSEArca: EELV).
Both IDLV, the developed markets “low-vol” fund, and EELV, the emerging markets low-volatility ETF, have pulled in about $2.6 million in assets, according to data compiled by IndexUniverse.
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