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SSgA to launch global equities ETFs designed for Australian investors


State Street Global Advisors (SSgA) will launch two exchange-traded funds designed to give Australian investors exposure to international equities.

The funds will be the SPDR S&P World ex-Australia (WXOZ) and the SPDR S&P World ex-Australia (Hedged) Fund (WXHG).

The unhedged ETF, WXOZ, will begin trading on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in coming weeks, subject to ASX approval.

The hedged ETF, WXHG, is designed to reduce the impact of currency fluctuations and will follow shortly after.

Amanda Skelly, SSgA’s head of SPDR ETFs in Australia, says: “Many Australians want to invest in international equities such as Adidas, Louis Vuitton and Toyota. For the first time they will be able to access approximately 350 international equities through an ETF priced in Australian dollars and listed solely on the ASX.”

Both ETFs will track securities in the relevant hedged or unhedged version of the S&P Developed ex-Australia LargeMidCap AUD Indices, which include large and mid-capitalisation stocks from 25 developed countries.

Skelly says: “Many investors already hold a large allocation to Australian equities. So the new ETFs will appeal to investors wanting to buy more equities but not wanting to increase their domestic weighting. The unhedged ETF will appeal to investors who think the Australian dollar will go down.”

Skelly believes that people know big global names like Google but do not know how to invest in them. They are also worried about the tax and currency implications of doing so.

“Our aim is to give Australian investors the building-blocks they need to construct a well-diversified portfolio tailored to meet their financial goals,” she says. “These new ETFs add to our existing suite of Australian equities and bond ETFs. We want to make it easy for investors to get exposure to a broad spread of international equities, with or without currency risk, through an Australian domiciled and traded ETF.”

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