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BGI launches iShares ETF with broad exposure to Asian equity market

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Barclays Global Investors has launched the iShares MSCI All Country Asia ex Japan Index Fund on the Nasdaq Stock Market, offering broad and diversified access to the equity markets of Chin

Barclays Global Investors has launched the iShares MSCI All Country Asia ex Japan Index Fund on the Nasdaq Stock Market, offering broad and diversified access to the equity markets of China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. The exchange-traded fund’s management fee is 0.74 per cent.

‘Since iShares launched the first pure mainland China ETF for US investors in 2005, investors have continued to ask for deeper access to the Asian markets,’ says Michael Latham, chief executive of US iShares at Barclays Global Investors.

‘The iShares MSCI All Country Asia ex Japan Index Fund includes developed markets such as Hong Kong and Singapore, as well as emerging markets such as India and Thailand, without the weighted impact of Japan and Australia.’

The iShares MSCI All Country Asia ex Japan Index Fund is the seventh iShares ETF to be listed on the Nasdaq market this year, following five iShares ETF listings in all of 2007.

‘We are pleased to list another innovative product developed by Barclays Global Investors, a proven leader in creating investment solutions for institutional and individual investors,’ says John Jacobs, an executive vice-president with Nasdaq OMX’s global financial products business. ‘Nasdaq is committed to providing this new iShares ETF with high levels of visibility and liquidity.’

According to Jacobs, Nasdaq is the most liquid US market for ETFs, capturing 38.1 per cent of all US ETF trading volume in July. Average daily matched share volume in July was 640 million, more than any other US exchange.

The exchange group’s global financial products business carries out the design, development, calculation, dissemination, licensing and marketing of Nasdaq OMX indices and specialises in the development of indices focusing on the themes of innovation, technology, growth and globalisation.

Nasdaq OMX indices are the basis of 24 ETFs worldwide with USD24.5bn in assets under management, led by the Nasdaq 100 index, which alone is the basis of more than 600 investment products in 30 countries.

Barclays Global Investors had more than 2,900 institutional clients and more than USD2trn in of assets under management at the end of last year. The firm created the first index strategy in 1971 and the first quantitative active strategy in 1979, and is the global leader in exchange traded funds with more than 320 iShares worldwide.

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