MSCI Philippines Investable Market Index ETF (EPHE)

iShares MSCI Philippines Investable Market Index Fund: top sectors include financials (46.4%), utilities (17.2%), telecom (15.7%) and industrials (15%)

BlackRock announced that the iShares exchange traded funds (ETF) business, the world’s largest provider of ETFs, launched three new emerging markets funds on the NYSE Arca.

The new emerging market ETFs are:

* iShares MSCI Brazil Small Cap Index Fund (NYSEArca: EWZS)
* iShares MSCI China Small Cap Index Fund (NYSEArca: ECNS)
* iShares MSCI Philippines Investable Market Index Fund (NYSEArca: EPHE)

This brings the iShares family of single-country ETFs to more than 30, and the total number of emerging market countries represented to 18. They are intended to help investors diversify their portfolios and get more access to small-cap stocks overseas. [Another iShares ETF Launch.

The Philippines ETF will be the first of its kind to hit the U.S. market, while the other new products from iShares will go head-to-head with existing ETFs from Van Eck and Guggenheim.
Philippines: An ETF First

EPHE will seek to replicate the performance of the MSCI Philippines Investable Market Index, a benchmark that measures the performance of equity securities in the top 99% by market capitalization of stocks listed on stock exchanges in the Philippines. The index currently has about 27 securities, with a heavy tilt towards financials: that sector makes up about 45% of assets. Other large allocations are made to utilities (17%) and telecom (16%). Like many emerging market ETFs, EPHE will be light on exposure to the consumer sector, as discretionaries make up only about 5% of the related index.

The Philippines, a chain of islands in Southeast Asia, is home to a rapidly-evolving economy with a unique history. Once the second-wealthiest country in Asia, the Philippines suffered a prolonged stretch of economic mismanagement under the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. Now a constitutional republic, the Philippines has seen its economy flourish in recent years as trading relationships with China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and other rapidly-expanding Asian economies have expanded considerably.

Goldman Sachs included the Philippines in its N-11, or “next eleven,” bloc of countries believed to have the potential to have a “BRIC-like impact in rivalling the G7.” With the 12th largest population in the world, the Philippines has tremendous economic potential, particularly as the development of major cities continues. But the country still has a long way to go. Remittances from overseas still account for a large portion of the economy, and many regions of the country have lagged behind larger metropolitan areas in terms of economic development. The Philippines is still very much an emerging market; the daily income for nearly half of the population is only a few U.S. dollars.

Prior to the launch of EPHE, no U.S.-listed ETF gave a weighting larger than 2% to the Philippines [use the Country Lookup Tool to see all funds with exposure to any region of the world.


  1. mingson say says:

    where can we avail of this product sir dragon?

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