Update: iShares MSCI Brazil UCITS ETF (Dist)

Optimisten für den Brasilianischen Aktienmarkt greifen mit am häufigsten zu diesem ETF. Der Index ist allerdings sehr kopflastig: Die 10 größten Holdings machen mehr als 50% im ETF aus, am stärksten Gewichtet sind Finanzwerte und Konsumtitel.

Rolle im Portfolio

IShares MSCI Brazil provides exposure to many of the biggest and most liquid components of the Brazilian equity universe.

The MSCI Brazil Index, this fund's underlying benchmark, is diversified by sector with more than a third of the index dedicated to financial stocks. At the security level, the index is heavily concentrated: More than 50% of total value is composed of the top 10 holdings. Given its narrow concentration, this exchange-traded fund can be used tactically for investors with a bullish view on the Brazilian equity market.

This ETF's total expense ratio is 0.74%, which is high relative to other ETFs with exposure to the Brazilian equity market. But it is also by far the largest in terms of assets under management and the most heavily traded on all European stock exchanges. Higher volumes often translate into tighter bid-ask spreads.

As the world's leading provider of ETFs, iShares enjoys vast economies of scale, which can be passed onto investors in the form of lower fees. It also benefits from the cutting-edge technology and resources of its parent company, BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager.

Fundamentale Analyse

Thanks to a wealth of natural resources, Brazil--Latin America's largest economy in terms of GDP--greatly benefited from the commodity supercycle in the early 2000s, which was mainly fuelled by China’s voracious appetite for raw materials, especially iron ore and oil. But what was once a headwind is now turning into a tailwind as China's economy is starting to slow.

With commodity prices slumping and global growth stagnating, Brazil's economy--the seventh-largest in the world- is now suffering from a deepening recession that market commentators say may mature into a full-fledged depression. The GDP rate has contracted for three consecutive quarters, the unemployment level is nearing 8%, and the inflation rate has already reached double-digit levels. To combat rising prices, Brazil's central bank hiked the country's benchmark interest-rate seven consecutive times from October 2014 to July 2015, leaving it at the current nine-year high of 14.25%. To make matters worse, the real has almost halved in value against the dollar in 2015 and the country's sovereign debt rating has been downgraded to junk by Standard and Poor's.

Politically, Brazil is in flux. President Dilma Rousseff secured a second term in the October 2014 election by a narrow margin, but her approval rating is now at a historical low. Rousseff is facing a possible impeachment for violating budgetary constraints to boost spending on her re-election campaign last year.

Petrobras, the most indebted company in the world, constitutes approximately 3% to 4% of the MSCI Brazil Index. The company is currently undergoing an investigation for corruption. The scandal involved big construction companies swaying Petrobras' officials to inflate prices on contracts. The money was then passed onto politicians from Rousseff's Workers' Party in return for favourable legislation. 


The MSCI Brazil Index is a free-float market-capitalisation-weighted index currently consisting of approximately 70 securities and covers around 85% of the Brazilian equity market. New entrants must pass minimum requirements for liquidity and length of trading history. It is reviewed quarterly and rebalanced semiannually with new size cutoffs for large caps and mid-caps calculated. The top sectors are financials (30%-35%), followed by consumer staples (19%-23%) and materials and energy (9%-13% each). The index is concentrated at the security level: The top 10 constituents make up more than 50% of total index composition. AmBev SA, the biggest brewing company in Latin America, specialising in soft drinks and beers, makes up approximately 9% to 12% of total index composition. Next in line are ITAU Unibank and Banco Bradesco, constituting 7% to 11% each. BRF, one of the largest food companies in Brazil, and Petrobras, a state-controlled oil company, constitute between 3% to 4% each. About 50 of the 75 securities in the index have weightings of less than 1%.


The iShares MSCI Brazil UCITS ETF uses full physical replication to capture the performance of the MSCI Brazil Net Return Index. The fund owns--to the extent that it's possible and efficient--all the underlying constituents in the same proportion as its benchmark. The fund uses futures for cash equitisation purposes, which helps limit tracking error. The fund does not engage in securities lending.


This ETF's total expense ratio is 0.74%, which is high relative to ETF peers providing exposure to the Brazilian equity market. During the past three years, the tracking difference (fund return – index return) has ranged from negative 0.36% to negative 0.77% for the period ended September 2015, suggesting that the total annual holding cost for this fund has been higher and lower than the TER. Additional costs to investors associated with trading the ETF include bid-ask spreads and brokerage fees.


As a direct alternative, several providers offer exposure to the MSCI Brazil NR Index including HSBC, UBS, db x-trackers, and Amundi. IShares also offers an accumulating equivalent. The physically replicated UBS ETF (IE) MSCI Brazil (0.43% TER) and the synthetically replicated Amundi ETF MSCI Brazil (0.55% TER) are cheaper options (strictly in terms of TER).

Another choice for Brazilian equity exposure is the synthetically replicated Lyxor Brazil (Ibovespa) ETF, which tracks the flagship Bovespa, a free-float market-cap-weighted index and charges a TER of 0.65%. For index inclusion, constituents are screened for liquidity, meaning that the most actively traded stocks, which are sometimes the most volatile ones, may take precedence over their less liquid counterparts. Its sector exposure is similar to the MSCI Brazil Index's.

Investors can also look to the synthetically replicated DJ Brazil 15 Theam Easy ETF (0.67% TER). This fund tracks the Dow Jones BRIC Brazil 15 Index, which represents 15 of the largest and most liquid stocks on the Bovespa Stock Exchange. It is more exposed to the financial sector (48% to 52%) than the MSCI Brazil.

Über den Autor

Morningstar ETF Analysts  research hundreds of ETFs available to European investors. The Morningstar Rating for ETFs is based on a risk-adjusted performance measure.