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iShares expands minimum volatility ETF suite


iShares has launched three minimum volatility exchange-traded funds (ETFs) designed to help investors manage risk in their portfolios.

The new ETFs build on the original iShares Minimum Volatility ETFs, which launched in 2011 and have nearly USD7 billion in assets under management (AUM), and aim to provide lower risk alternatives to international exposures.
The new ETFs are:
– iShares MSCI Europe Minimum Volatility ETF (EUMV)
– iShares MSCI Japan Minimum Volatility ETF (JPMV)
– iShares MSCI Asia ex Japan Minimum Volatility ETF (AXJV)
Patrick Dunne, head of iShares global markets and investments at BlackRock, says: "Volatility has generally increased over the past decade and investors are wondering how to adjust their portfolios to help minimise this risk, while still meeting their long-term goals. The traditional 'safe havens' of cash and government bonds have not provided much of an alternative, with returns at or near historical lows. BlackRock with its long heritage of product innovation created iShares Minimum Volatility ETFs to provide investors the opportunity to remain in the market while seeking to minimize the market's peaks and valleys. These ETFs can provide a complement or alternative to the core indexed portfolio, potentially improving risk-adjusted returns over the long term."
The iShares Minimum Volatility ETFs are designed to track the Minimum Volatility Indices by MSCI. The indices seek to capture the movements of broad equity markets with a reduced amount of risk. MSCI constructs an optimal mix of less volatile stocks by examining the respective parent market capitalisation-weighted MSCI Indices, evaluating the volatility of each individual stock and the correlations between stocks, all while applying a number of constraints to ensure the portfolio is sufficiently diversified and maintains the main characteristics of the broad market index. 

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