BlackRock iShares plans to get into the currency game, filing to launch a suite of actively managed foreign currency-related exchange traded funds.
According to a SEC filing, iShares wants to market 14 active currency ETFs:
- iShares Australian Dollar ETF (NYSEArca:AUDS) : 0.20% expense ratio
- iShares British Pound ETF (NYSEArca:GBPS) : 0.20% expense ratio
- iShares Canadian Dollar ETF (NYSEArca:CADS) : 0.20% expense ratio
- iShares Chinese Offshore Renminbi ETF (NYSEArca:CNHS) : 0.30% expense ratio
- iShares Euro ETF (NYSEArca:EURS) : 0.20% expense ratio
- iShares Japanese Yen ETF (NYSEArca:JPYS) : 0.20% expense ratio
- iShares Mexican Peso ETF (NYSEArca:MXNS) : 0.40% expense ratio
- iShares New Zealand Dollar ETF (NYSEArca:NZDS) : 0.30% expense ratio
- iShares Norwegian Krone ETF (NYSEArca:NOKS) : 0.30% expense ratio
- iShares Singapore Dollar ETF (NYSEArca:SGDS) : 0.30% expense ratio
- iShares Swedish Krona ETF (NYSEArca:SEKS) : 0.30% expense ratio
- iShares Swiss Franc ETF (NYSEArca:CHFS) : 0.20% expense ratio
- iShares Thai Offshore Baht ETF (NYSEArca:THBS) : 0.40% expense ratio
- iShares Turkish Lira ETF (NYSEArca:TRYS) : 0.40% expense ratio
The ETFs will hold short-term debt denominated in U.S. dollars and spot foreign exchange contracts to provide financial exposure similar to purchasing the respective foreign currency, reflecting the fluctuations in the exchange rate of the foreign currency to the USD.
“We think they are poised to receive greater investor attention now that ETF industyr leader iShares plans to expand into the investment style,” Todd Rosenbluth, S&P Capital IQ Director of ETF Research, said in a research note.
Currency ETFs have not taken off as they hold about $3.3 billion in assets, or less than 1% of total ETF assets under management. [Currency ETFs for Diversification]
A number of these iShares currency ETFs will be directly competing against the Guggenheim Investment CurrencyShares suite of currency ETFs, which include exposure to the Australian dollar, British pound sterling, Canadian dollar, Chinese renminbi, euro, Japanese yen, Singapore dollar, Swedish krona and Swiss franc.
Additionally, WisdomTree offers currency related ETFs tied to the Chinese yuan, Brazilian real, Indian rupee and two currency baskets. [Emerging Markets Currency ETF Perks Up]
PowerShares offers the widely observed U.S. dollar ETF along with a currency basket ETF.
“We think the role that currency ETFs can play in a clients’ portfolio is multi-fold, offering hedging exposure to equity investments or a tactical trade to where economic policies are seen as favorable,” Rosenbluth added.
For more information on new fund products, visit our new ETFs category.
Max Chen contributed to this article.
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Mr. Lydon serves as an independent trustee of certain mutual funds and ETFs that are managed by Guggenheim Investments; however, any opinions or forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Mr. Lydon and not those of Guggenheim Funds, Guggenheim Investments, Guggenheim Specialized Products, LLC or any of their affiliates. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.