German Exchange Lists New Sector, Islamic ETFs

March 28, 2008

Germany's stock exchange adds first Islamic ETFs and some new sector ETFs.

A new passel of interesting new ETFs were rolled out on Deutsche Börse's Xetra platform this past week, including five iShares and two EasyETF funds.

Three of the new iShares track Islamic indexes from MSCI; they are the first shariah-compliant ETFs to list on the Deutsche Börse. The iShares MSCI World Islamic (ISIN DE000A0NA0L5), iShares MSCI USA Islamic (ISIN DE000A0NA0N1) and iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Islamic (ISIN DE000A0NA0M3) are all based on indexes that screen out companies involved in industries or activities forbidden by Islamic beliefs, such as alcohol, tobacco, pornography, gambling and pork. They charge expense ratios of 0.60%, 0.50% and 0.85%, respectively. Similar funds trade on the London Stock Exchange under different ISIN numbers.

The iShares S&P Global Timber & Forestry (ISIN DE000A0NA0H3) and the iShares MSCI Latin America (ISIN DE000A0NA0K7) also began trading; they charge expense ratios of 0.65% and 0.74%, respectively. The timber ETF tracks a Standard & Poor's themed index of 25 timber companies from around the world, while the Latin America ETF is based on the MSCI regional index, which covers about 85% of Latin America's market capitalization. As with the Islamic ETFs, similar funds trade on the London Stock Exchange under different ISINs.

All five new iShares are structured as Irish UCITS funds.

The EasyETF funds, launched through a partnership between AXA Investment Managers and BNP Paribas, take two different cuts of the same sector-infrastructure. The EasyETF NMX30 Infrastructure Global (ISIN LU0315440411) covers 30 companies from around the world involved in infrastructure; it charges a management fee of 0.50%. The EasyETF NMX Infrastructure Europe (ISIN LU0315455286) also focuses on infrastructure companies, but only those listed on European exchanges. The underlying index has 16 components. Like the global fund, the Europe-focused ETF charges 0.50%.

The NMX (or Natural Monopoly Index) series is a series of indexes that measures different segments of the global infrastructure industry. It is produced by LPX GmbH, a research firm specializing in private equity.




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