Today, BlackRock’s iShares launched the first U.S.-listed ETF focused on Kuwait. The iShares MSCI Kuwait ETF (KWT) joins the issuer’s lineup of country funds tied to MSCI indexes.
KWT comes with an expense ratio of 0.74% and lists on Cboe Global Markets, the parent company of ETF.com.
The underlying index is weighted by modified free-float market capitalization and covers at least 30 securities of companies that are listed in Kuwait, headquartered there or have significant ties to the country, according to the prospectus.
This launch further fills out BlackRock’s offering of Gulf States country ETFs, which also includes funds covering Saudi Arabia, Qatar and United Arab Emirates. These are the only ETFs offering targeted exposure to these markets, which are all notoriously difficult for foreign investors to access.
Kuwait itself is heavily dependent on oil and has been hit hard by the plunge in oil prices, Bloomberg reports. The country, like many other Gulf States, is looking to diversify away from its primary source of income. This could lead to a further opening of its stock market.
However, because the oil producers are closely held by the government, there is only one energy company in the newly launched ETF, with almost half of the components falling into the financials sector. Other represented sectors include industrials, materials and real estate, among others.
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