WisdomTree has launched a new exchange traded fund, the WisdomTree Korea Hedged Equity Fund (DXKW), on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
DXKW seeks to provide exposure to Korean equity markets while hedging exposure to the won and has an expense ratio of 0.58 per cent.
South Korea is a flourishing emerging economy, known for its shipping industry and exporting prowess, supplying the world with advanced technologies and automobiles from global leaders. In 2012, South Korea's gross domestic production (GDP) was nearly twice that of many developed nations including Switzerland, Sweden and Norway, and almost 60 per cent of the country's GDP was from exports.
"For any exporter-focused country, a strengthening currency can be a competitive disadvantage in the global market place. In the last 12-months, as Japan's policy of 'Abenomics' has resulted in a depreciating Japanese yen, South Korea's won has appreciated significantly – 20 per cent versus the yen. As a result, South Korea's exporters have faced tougher competition from their revitalised Japanese counterparts," says Jeremy Schwartz, WisdomTree director of research. "Given their significant overlap in export products, we believe South Korea is the country most impacted by the yen's weakening. If the South Korean won declines relative to the yen – and for that matter, the US Dollar – we believe this would be a boon for South Korea's equities.
"We believe DXKW can offer exposure to the growth potential of South Korea's exporters while helping to protect US investors from potential declines in the Korean won against the US dollar."
One way for US investors to isolate the performance of Korean equities from the performance of the won is to hedge the currency exposure, thus, helping to reduce the overall volatility of investing in this market.