Equity: Developed Europe - Large Cap

FEU Top Performer Intra-day
Price $33.04
Today’s Change +0.06%(0.18)
3:55pm 04/27/2017
FEZ Bottom Performer Intra-day
Price $37.84
Today’s Change -0.07%(-0.19)
4:00pm 04/27/2017
  • Overview
  • Efficiency
  • Tradability
  • Fit

ETF.com Insight

The developed market European large-cap funds are drastically different from each other in every measure. They all define the market differently, resulting in very different portfolios. AtThe European large-cap funds are drastically different from each other one end of the spectrum is IEV, a comprehensive portfolio of close to 350 of the largest companies from 17 European countries. At the other end are two funds that track the same index: FEZ and ESTX. FEZ and ESTX each hold 50 of the biggest European companies, but only from the Eurozone, so Switzerland adn the UK are excluded. FEU also holds just 50 names, but leans more toward mega-caps and isn’t restricted to the Eurozone.
As a result, the portfolios look different. FEU and IEV make large allocations to the UK, while FEZ and ESTX exclude it altogether, and instead allocate more than two-thirds to France and Germany. FEU tilts much larger than any of its competitors. It particularly overweights Swiss firms and the healthcare sector. IEV hews close to our neutral benchmark in all respects.
The differences aren't limited to Fit. FEZ and IEV are far more liquid than FEU, with multiple millions of dollars changing hands daily, while ESTX sees anemic trading at best. From an all-in cost perspective, FEZ is the clear winner, since IEV charges more than twice the expense ratio of the other two ETFs.
Ultimately, IEV earns our Analyst Pick because it offers broad, diversified access to developed European companies in an efficient, liquid package. FEZ earns our Opportunity list designation because its focus on countries using the euro could appeal to discerning investors that wish to hedge or embrace exposure to the currency. (Insight updated 04/27/17)

All Funds (5)

FEU $183.84 M 183841547.53615 50 megacaps

A 88
E
94
94
T
88
88
F
88
88

FEZ $3.22 B 3219581894.9515 Great tracking

A 80
E
97
97
T
91
91
F
80
80

IEV $2.61 B 2607522640 Broadest portfolio

B 96
E
87
87
T
88
88
F
96
96

ADRU $13.66 M 13655850 N/A

C 51
E
86
86
T
49
49
F
51
51

HFEZ $25.74 M 25744029.35 N/A

N/A 0
E
0
-1
T
0
-1
F
0
-1

ETF.com Grade as 04/20/17

Equity: Developed Europe - Large Cap

1 Year Total Return NAV
Performance  [as of 04/26/17] 1 Month 3 Month YTD 1 Year 3 Years 5 Years 10 Years
Benchmark: MSCI Europe Large Cap--------------
A 87.628159FEU183841547.53615FEUSPDR STOXX Europe 50 ETF3.13%8.21%11.20%8.47%-1.99%5.05%-0.76%
A 79.857064FEZ3219581894.9515FEZSPDR Euro STOXX 50 ETF4.87%10.45%13.52%13.77%-0.86%8.12%-0.89%
B 96.167359IEV2607522640IEViShares Europe ETF3.95%8.26%11.75%10.59%-0.85%6.71%0.22%
C 50.569024ADRU13655850ADRUBLDRS Europe Select ADR Index Fund3.01%7.95%10.31%7.64%-1.77%5.66%-0.02%
N/A 0HFEZ25744029.35HFEZSPDR EURO STOXX 50 Currency Hedged ETF4.39%8.70%10.71%20.59%------
All returns over 1 year are annualized. All returns are total returns unless otherwise stated.

ETF.com Efficiency Insight

The biggest differentiator in Efficiency is cost: IEV, with its 0.60% expense ratio, charges more than twice as much as its next-cheapest peers. These different expense ratios are reflectedIEV, with its 0.60% expense ratio, charges twice as much as its peers. in each fund's tracking prowess and score: FEZ and FEU are at the top, with IEV lagging behind them.
Newer launch ESTX lags significantly in Efficiency, largely due to its failure—so far—to attract much investor interest. We don’t yet have enough data to comment on its tracking, but its segment-low expense ratio of 0.16% certainly can’t hurt.
All three of the established ETFs actively lend out securities. FEU and FEZ both pass 100% of securities lending revenues through to shareholders, which can boost fund performance. In contrast, IEV passes through just 75%: A less impressive percentage, but still significant.
IEV and FEZ in particular are extremely stable and well established. FEU is much smaller than its two larger counterparts, but is unlikely to close anytime soon. ESTX potentially faces the chopping block if its asset base remains low.
All four funds have been tax efficient: None has distributed any capital gains and all have managed to shore up significant capital losses to continue avoiding forced payouts in the future. (Insight updated 04/27/17)

All Funds (5)

97
97.199774
94
93.966372
87
87.457455
86
85.719356
N/A
0

ETF.com Grade as 04/20/17

Equity: Developed Europe - Large Cap

Tracking Difference (12 Month)

Ticker Expense Ratio Median Max. Upside Max. Downside Max LT/ST Cap Gains Rate Rule Legal Structure Fund Closure Risk Efficiency
IEV iShares Europe ETF 0.60% -0.28% -0.17% -0.42% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 87.457455
ADRU BLDRS Europe Select ADR Index Fund 0.30% -0.28% -0.07% -0.42% 20.00% / 39.60% Medium 85.719356
FEU SPDR STOXX Europe 50 ETF 0.29% 0.02% 0.10% -0.09% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 93.966372
FEZ SPDR Euro STOXX 50 ETF 0.29% 0.21% 0.26% 0.08% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 97.199774
HFEZ SPDR EURO STOXX 50 Currency Hedged ETF 0.32% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Low 0

ETF.com Tradability Insight

IEV and FEZ lead the segment in Tradability, with millions of dollars changing hands on most days. Their on-screen liquidity is ideal for the largest trades. FEU also see significantIEV and FEZ lead the segment in Tradability. liquidity, but it's not in the same league, so large trades should to be managed carefully to avoid moving the market. The last fund, ESTX, is a relatively new launch that has yet to see a robust secondary market develop. Carefully managed limit orders are necessary.
Bid/ask spreads are roughly what you’d expect from each fund’s daily volume. IEV and FEZ carry average spreads of just a penny, the narrowest possible. FEU sees wider but still very reasonable spreads, making limit orders a good idea for smaller investors. ESTX shows reasonable average quoted spreads, but its low liquidity implies a shallow order book that could easily be blown open by larger trades. Trade carefully.
Large trades may be executed more efficiently through market makers: all three established funds earn great block liquidity scores. ESTX is not yet scored in block liquidity, but using a liquidity provider may still be better than braving the market—especially if you’re buying or selling an entire creation unit as the fund’s underlying holdings are predominantly liquid. (Insight updated 04/27/17)

All Funds (5)

91
90.826763
88
87.813726
88
87.528919
49
49.114335
N/A
0

ETF.com Grade as 04/20/17

Equity: Developed Europe - Large Cap

Ticker Median Daily Volume ($) Average Spread Creation Unit/Day Market Hours Overlap Underlying Volume/Unit % Creation Cost Per Unit (%) Impediment to Creations Score - Tradability
ADRU BLDRS Europe Select ADR Index Fund $29.04 K 0.65% 0.03 98.00% 0.05% 0.10% None 49.114335
FEU SPDR STOXX Europe 50 ETF $1.16 M 0.09% 0.72 31.00% 0.02% 0.09% None 87.528919
FEZ SPDR Euro STOXX 50 ETF $101.84 M 0.03% 59.50 31.00% 0.03% 0.08% None 90.826763
HFEZ SPDR EURO STOXX 50 Currency Hedged ETF $111.94 K 0.43% 0.06 100.00% 2.22% 0.00% None 0
IEV iShares Europe ETF $23.6 M 0.02% 11.59 31.00% 0.01% 0.48% None 87.813726
Spread History
Premium/Discount History

ETF.com/ Block Liquidity

FEU
5
4
3
2
1
FEZ
5
4
3
2
1
IEV
5
4
3
2
1
ADRU
5
4
3
2
1
HFEZ
5
4
3
2
1

This measurement shows how easy it is to trade 25,000 shares of each ETF.

ETF.com Fit Insight

Four different European large-cap ETFs offer three very different portfolios. IEV looks the most like our neutral benchmark, with a broad portfolio of around 350 companies weighted byIEV looks the most like our neutral benchmark market cap, but even IEV doesn't capture the market perfectly.
Of the other three funds, FEU is most market-like. It holds 50 large- and mega-caps, with at least some representation from each sector. FEZ and ESTX track the same index, which holds 50 firms from the Eurozone, weighted by market-cap.
In practical terms, the most glaring difference is in country exposure. FEU and IEV make heavy allocations to the United Kingdom and take significant stakes in Switzerland. In contrast, FEZ and ESTX completely exclude both countries, which are not part of the eurozone. Both funds also exclude Sweden. Together, these three countries account for about half of our neutral benchmark. To compensate, FEZ and ESTX heavily overweight France and Germany: approximately 2/3 of their portfolios are allocated to those two countries.
FEU, with its mega-cap portfolio of the 50 biggest European companies, dwarfs the size of the other ETFs, with a weighted average market cap of over $120 billion. IEV’s broad portfolio extends beyond large-caps to include an allocation to mid-caps. However, we don’t see much of a small tilt overall. FEZ and ESTX also see no significant size tilts.
Despite such different selection filters and country allocations, sector tilts are generally moderate among the four funds. FEU significantly overweights healthcare, but otherwise appears to be broadly representative.
Ultimately, the choice of the right European large-cap fund depends on which countries you consider to be “European” and how large you think large-caps should be. If you want the broadest, most representative portfolio of large-caps, IEV is it. If, instead, you only want the biggest 50 companies, you’ll be better off with one of the other three—FEU if you want to include all of Europe, FEZ or ESTX if you want to limit your exposure to the eurozone. (Insight updated 04/27/17)

All Funds (5)

96
96.167359
88
87.628159
80
79.857064
51
50.569024
N/A
0

ETF.com Grade as 04/20/17

Equity: Developed Europe - Large Cap