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Update: Lyxor UCITS ETF MSCI World D-USD

Dieser ETF streut sehr breit über die globalen Aktienmärkte. In den vergangenen Jahren waren MSCI World ETFs von aktiven Fondsmanagern kaum zu schlagen. Das sieht 2015 allerdings anders aus. Anleger sollten die hohe USA- bzw. US-Dollarquote beachten.

Caroline Gutman 23.10.2015

Rolle im Portfolio

The MSCI World ETF provides exposure to the largest publicly-traded companies in the world. The MSCI World Index, a widely used barometer for the global equity market, includes stocks from developed countries, but excludes emerging market ones. Given its broad exposure, the fund can be used as a long-term core holding in a portfolio. Although the MSCI World Index is broad in geographic scope, the United States accounts for almost 60% of total portfolio allocation. Pairing this ETF with another U.S. equity fund may result in significant overlap, but combining it with an emerging markets fund instead will lead to greater portfolio diversification. The next biggest countries represented are Japan and the United Kingdom, weighing 7-10% each. Top sectors include financials, information technology and consumer discretionary. This ETF pays dividends on a semi-annual basis and may suit income seeking investors.

Fundamentale Analyse

The short to medium-term global outlook is dividing between improving advanced economies and contracting emerging markets. The prevailing forces -monetary policy, commodity prices and inflation- continue to drive macroeconomic trends, as well as global equity prices.

In response to the financial crisis, central banks in many developed economies carried out Quantitative Easing (QE) to increase bank lending, boost investment spending and avert deflation. While QE has provided well-needed support to the global economy, it has also boosted equity valuations.

The situation is about to change. Global monetary policy is now diverging and long-term interest rates are widening. The U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of England are looking to increase interest rates, although the exact timing is uncertain. Alternatively, the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan have signalled the possibility of increasing stimulus due to continuing deflationary pressure caused by declining commodity prices.

Oil prices fell by approximately 50% since mid-2014 due to lower demand –notably from China- and greater supply. The oil slump has caused a redistribution of income from oil-exporting countries like Brazil and Russia to oil importing ones like the U.S. and Europe.

Monetary policy and headwinds from China will continue to steer the G10 currency pairs. By increasing the money supply, QE has devalued the Japanese yen and the euro relative to the dollar. In August, China let its currency depreciate by approximately 2%, hoping that a more flexible yuan would help stabilise its economy. Chinese authorities have refused to let the overvalued yuan adjust sharply despite weak exports, increasing their chances of inclusion in the IMF’s currency basket (Special Drawing Rights). On August 24th, the MSCI World Index declined by about 10% from the week before.

Geo-political risks in emerging markets, notably Latin America, Russia and the Middle East, continue to threaten international trade and contribute to market volatility. In the euro area and Japan, elevated public debt and an aging population, are ongoing long-term concerns.


The MSCI World Net Return Index is a free-float market capitalisation-weighted index covering 23 developed countries around the world. The Index consists of 1,600+ mid- and large-cap stocks and covers approximately 85% of the total free float-adjusted market capitalisation of each country in the index. The index is reviewed quarterly in February, May, August and November. It is rebalanced semi-annually. The universe is screened for liquidity as measured by trading volume. The U.S. stock market accounts for approximately 55-60% of total index value and is more than five times larger than the next highest representatives, Japan and the United Kingdom, weighting 7-10% each. France and Switzerland account for 3-4% each. On a sector basis, the index is broadly diversified. Financials account 19-23% of the total allocation, followed by information technology, consumer discretionary and health care at 12-15% each. Portfolio concentration is limited with the top 10 holdings accounting for less than 10% of the total index value. Top securities include Apple with a 1-3% weight, followed by Microsoft and Exxon at approximately 1%.


The fund uses synthetic replication to capture the returns of the MSCI World Net Total Return Index. Instead of holding the securities in the index, the ETF enters into a swap agreement with counterparty and parent bank Societe Generale. In this transaction, the ETF uses investors’ cash to buy a substitute basket of securities and exchanges their return (plus net of a swap fee which can be positive or negative) for the return of the MSCI World Index. Lyxor commits to targeting zero counterparty risk exposure. The swap is therefore reset whenever the swap value becomes positive. Swaps may sometimes have a negative value, which would be in essence equivalent to an over-collateralisation of the fund. The substitute basket, which can change daily, is made up of liquid stocks that belong to major indices and maintain a minimum average trading volume and market capitalisation. As of this writing, swap counterparty exposure is -1.56 (% of Net Asset Value), with the substitute basket representing 101.56% of the fund’s NAV. The fund’s holdings, which are monitored daily by Lyxor’s asset manager, are held in a segregated account at Lyxor’s custodian, Societe Generale Security Services.


The fund’s total expense ratio (TER) is 0.30%, which is low compared to other funds offering similar exposure. The annualised tacking difference (fund return – index return), which has been smaller than the TER over the last 3 years suggests that some enhancements (e.g. tax optimisation) has been passed on to the fund through the swap agreements. Other costs potentially carried by the unitholder include bid-ask spreads and brokerage fees when buy and sell orders are placed for ETF shares.


There are a number of funds that provide exposure to global equities. Providers offering ETFs that track the MSCI World Index include UBS, iShares, db X-trackers, Source and ComStage. The iShares and ComStage MSCI World ETFs charge the lowest fees, with a TER of 0.20%.

Über den Autor

Caroline Gutman  ist Fondsanalystin bei Morningstar.