iShares Debuts 2 New Japan ETFs

Funds are alternative takes on the firm’s cap-weighted Japan ETF.

Reviewed by: Heather Bell
Edited by: Heather Bell

Yesterday, BlackRock’s iShares unit rolled out two ETFs that are essentially riffs on its blockbuster iShares MSCI Japan ETF (EWJ), which has $15 billion in assets under management. The iShares MSCI Japan Equal Weighted ETF (EWJE) and the iShares MSCI Japan Value ETF (EWJV) take different approaches to the Japanese stock market.

EWJE and EWJV are both cheaper than EWJ, charging 0.15% while EWJ carries an expense ratio of 0.47%. Both funds list on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

EWJE uses the same index as EWJ, but instead of weighting by market capitalization, all of the components are given the same weight at rebalancings. Meanwhile, EWJV selects companies from the MSCI Japan Index based on three value-related characteristics: book value to price, 12-month forward earnings to price and dividend yield. Its components are weighted by market capitalization.

EWJ has seen some challengers arise in the past year or so, with the most notable being the JPMorgan BetaBuilders Japan ETF (BBJP), which rolled out in June of last year at the low cost of 0.19% and has already accumulated $3.7 billion in assets.

Contact Heather Bell at [email protected]

Heather Bell is a former managing editor of 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.