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Analyse: iShares FTSE BRIC 50 (IE)

Mit diesem ETF können Anleger auf die 50 größten Unternehmen aus den Ländern Brasilien, Russland, Indien und China setzen. Die dominierenden Sektoren sind Finanzen und Energie, deren Gewicht zusammengenommen ca. 2/3 des FTSE BRIC 50 beträgt.

Alastair Kellett 20.07.2012
Rolle im Portfolio

The fund provides exposure to many of the largest companies within the emerging countries of Brazil, Russia, India, and China (collectively, “BRIC”). These countries have seen their importance on the global stage rise dramatically in recent years. The Chinese economy now ranks third in the world, behind only Europe and the United States. Whereas this type of exposure would once have been considered only as a speculative tactical tool, it is increasingly becoming a core component of a globally balanced portfolio. That said, this can be an extremely volatile area of the market. This fund’s annual standard deviation since inception in 2007 has been just shy of 34%. It correlation to the local currency returns of the S&P 500 and the MSCI Europe Index has been 77% and 78% respectively, over the same time period. The fund pays out dividends from the underlying stocks on a semi-annual basis, currently at an annual yield level of 2.55%. So it may suit an investor seeking moderate levels of income, although the tax implications of such distributions for each investor would have to be taken into consideration.

Fundamentale Analyse

For much of the last 10 years, the BRIC acronym has been strongly associated with the exciting growth potential of the developing world. China will have particular impact on the group’s fortunes, as it is the largest “BRIC” economy and has the largest weight in the index. In June 2012 the People’s Bank of China cut interest rates by 25 basis points, the first rate cut in the country since December 2008, when the world was in the throes of the global financial crisis. Less than a month later, it cut rates again. These moves have raised fresh concerns about China’s much-vaunted growth story. The monetary easing represents a stark departure, coming after a couple of years of policy tightening, including rules designed to curb home-buying. China’s GDP grew at an annualised rate of 8.1% in the first quarter of 2012; still robust on an absolute basis but less than had become customary. The Chinese government earlier this year targeted a 7.5% growth rate for all of 2012. One of the major factors contributing to China’s slowdown is that its economy is largely built on exports, and with many parts of the developed world spiralling back into recession, the demand for those exports has begun to dry up. As the beleaguered developed-world consumer continues to pare back, China will have to rely more and more on domestic demand from its own burgeoning middle class. Another major pillar of the economy is investment, and as we saw in 2008 the government has shown the willingness and ability to inject the economy with massive amounts of stimulus to buoy the economy. For both Brazil and Russia, a key driver of growth is energy. The countries’ wealth of natural resources has made them substantial beneficiaries of the past decade’s trend towards higher commodity prices. A big part of that trend has been the rapid growth of China, with its seemingly insatiable appetite for raw materials, as well as Malthusian concerns about the world running out of non-renewable resources. The concern right now is that with China slowing down, the demand for raw materials could fall considerably. Further muddying the picture is the rapid pace of new natural gas discoveries throughout the world, particularly in the United States. Brazil’s growth has also slowed considerably in recent periods. For the first quarter of 2012, its GDP growth rate was a paltry 0.8%, less than that of the United States. The HSBC Brazil PMI, which measures conditions in the manufacturing sector of the economy, was 48.5 in June, where a value less than 50 indicates contraction. That was down from 49.3 in May, representing the sharpest decline in eight months. Russia’s GDP grew by 4.9% in the first quarter. India’s GDP grew by an annualised rate of 5.3% in first quarter of this year. Like China’s, that number looks strong relative to other parts of the world but represents a slowdown by its own standards. India’s economy has remained largely closed, which has hampered development. Plans earlier this year to allow foreign supermarkets into the country were scrapped in the face of protest. The Indian Rupee has lost 20% of its value against the US dollar over the past year.


The FTSE BRIC 50 Index is a free float market capitalisation-weighted index consisting of the 50 biggest stocks across the markets of Brazil, Russia, India, and China. In the case of Brazilian, Indian, and Russian companies, the constituents are depository receipts, which trade on either the New York Stock Exchange or the London Stock Exchange but are proxies designed to mirror the ownership of a company’s domestic stock listing. In the case of Chinese equities, the index holds H-shares, which are companies incorporated in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and listed in Hong Kong. Unlike China-listed A-shares, there are no restrictions for international investors trading in H-shares. Stocks within the potential investment universe are screened for liquidity. The index is formally reviewed on a quarterly basis, and the weight of any individual security is capped at 15%. The median market capitalisation of constituents is $10.5 billion. Geographically, China was the biggest exposure at the end of April, making up 45.5% of the total. Brazil made up 26.6%, Russia 22.8%, and India just 5.1%. On a sector basis the index was heavily tilted towards Financials and Energy, which made up 37.7% and 29.8%, respectively. And there was a fair amount of concentration, with 29.4% of the total within the top five stocks.


The fund uses full physical replication to try to capture the performance of its benchmark, owning – to the extent possible and efficient – shares in all of the underlying constituents in the same weights as those of the index. In certain circumstances it may also use derivatives to achieve its objectives. The fund is Irish-domiciled and has the U.S. dollar as its base currency. As of writing it had assets of roughly $850 million. It is ISA eligible and has UK Reporting status. Cash received as dividends from the underlying stocks is held by the fund until distributions are made to fund unitholders on a quarterly basis. This can create a cash drag on the portfolio, causing it to underperform its benchmark in rising markets, and outperform in declining markets. The fund does engage in securities lending. In the 12 months ending at March 31st, 2012, an average of 6.18% of the portfolio, and a maximum of 11.29%, was loaned out, and in total the activity contributed 5 basis points of net return to the fund. iShares claims to keep 40% of securities lending revenue for itself, out of which amount it will pay the associated costs of the activity, and passes 60% of the revenue to the fund. Prior to October 2010 the split was 50/50.


The fund’s total expense ratio (TER) is 0.74%, which is pricier than several alternatives for exposure to BRIC equities. Other costs potentially borne by the unitholder but not included in the total expense ratio include bid-ask spreads on the ETF, securities lending fees, transaction costs on the infrequent occasions when the underlying holdings change, and brokerage fees when buy and sell orders are placed for ETF shares. Income generated from securities lending could potentially recoup some of the total costs.


To get exposure to BRIC equities, there are a few choices, including db x-trackers MSCI BRIC TRN ETF, RBS Market Access Daxglobal BRIC Index ETF, EasyETF DJ BRIC 50, and HSBC S&P BRIC 40 ETF. Of these, the iShares product is by far the biggest. The fund with the lowest TER is the HSBC fund, at 0.60%.
Über den Autor

Alastair Kellett  Al Kellett is an ETF analyst with Morningstar Europe.