Daily ETF Watch: AGG Gets Int’l Counterpart

iShares rolls out its international version of its aggregate bond fund.

Reviewed by: Heather Bell
Edited by: Heather Bell

Today saw the launch of an international version of the iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (AGG | A-98) as well as additional ETFs from WisdomTree and First Trust. There’s also a new filing from Christian Magoon’s Amplify Investments.


BlackRock’s iShares arm has rolled out its international answer to the $29 billion AGG. The iShares Core International Aggregate Bond ETF (IAGG) is an investment-grade, non-USD fixed-income fund that also applies a currency hedge to mitigate the effects of foreign currency fluctuations against the U.S. dollar.

The fund’s index can include securities from 55 different developing and emerging countries, and caps each individual issuer at a 10 percent weighting. Securities in the index can be issued by governments or corporations.

IAGG charges an expense ratio of 0.15 percent.

First Trust

Today, First Trust launched an actively managed ETF that targets the real estate market. The First Trust Heitman Global Prime Real Estate ETF (PRME) targets companies that have prime real estate operations in economically important cities around the world.

PRME can invest in REITs, real estate operating companies and other real estate-focused companies. Potential holdings are screened for liquidity and size, and from there portfolio analysts rigorously analyze eligible companies based on qualitative and quantitative factors, with regional teams selecting “high conviction” portfolios, the prospectus said.

The fund’s final portfolio will typically hold from 25 to 100 individual securities from U.S. and non-U.S. companies, with at least 40 percent of the portfolio expected to be invested in international companies.

PRME listed on the NYSE Arca and comes with an expense ratio of 0.95 percent.


WisdomTree launched a small-cap dividend fund today that encompasses developed as well as emerging markets, including the U.S. The WisdomTree Global SmallCap Dividend ETF (GSD) holds companies drawn from the bottom 5 percent of WisdomTree’s investment universe, as defined by the WisdomTree Global Dividend Index.

GSD’s components must have at least $200 million in market capitalization in addition to meeting liquidity requirements. The fund’s index selects the largest 1,000 companies after the screens have been applied to the selection pool and weights them by dividends paid.

The fund comes with an expense ratio of 0.43 percent.

Consumer Discretionary Fund Planned

After filing an exemptive relief request earlier this year, Christian Magoon’s Amplify Investments has put its first ETF into registration. The Amplify Consumer Discretionary ETF will track a global index of companies that primarily operate in the global discretionary space and derive at least 70 percent of their revenues from it.

Magoon previously was president of Claymore Securities and left after its acquisition by Guggenheim Investments was completed. He founded Amplify with the intention of launching actively managed and indexed ETFs according to the firm’s exemptive relief requests.

The proposed fund’s index has a rather unique structure. The U.S. constituents must represent at least 75 percent of the portfolio, while international constituents are limited to an allocation of no more than 25 percent. As a whole, the index can include 30 to 40 components, each of which must have a market capitalization of at least $300 million.

Penserra Capital Management will be the fund’s subadvisor.

The filing did not include a ticker or expense ratio, but it did indicate the fund would list on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

Contact Heather Bell at [email protected].

Heather Bell is a former managing editor of etf.com. She has also held editorial positions at Dow Jones Indexes and Lehman Brothers. Bell is a graduate of Dartmouth college and resides in the Denver area with her two dogs.