Sector ETFs are popular. International sector ETFs, not so much. In fact, successfully maintaining a foreign sector ETF suite has proven to be nearly impossible. The latest casualty is the 10-ETF All Country excluding US Sector Suite launched by iShares in 2010.
As previously announced, March 25, 2014 was the last day of trading for:
- iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Consumer Discretionary (AXDI)
- iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Consumer Staples (AXSL)
- iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Energy (AXEN)
- iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Financials (AXFN)
- iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Healthcare (AXHE)
- iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Industrials (AXID)
- iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Information Technology (AXIT)
- iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Materials (AXMT)
- iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Telecom Services (AXTE)
- iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Utilities (AXUT)
The 10 closing funds had total assets of less than $54 million when BlackRock (BLK), the sponsor of iShares ETFs, announced its liquidation plans. The iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Healthcare ETF (AXHE) was the most popular member of the set with investors, yet it had only about $12 million in assets. These closures push the lifetime US ETP death toll above 400.
Other failed attempts with international sector suites include the March 2010 closure of WisdomTree’s International sector lineup and last year’s shuttering of the EGShares emerging market sector GEMS ETFs. Now, with iShares abandoning the segment, the only way to get broad pure international sector exposure is via the SPDR S&P International Sector Suite. The iShares Global Sector Suite, launched in 2001, is still alive and well, although its ‘global’ designation suggests that they average about 50% U.S. exposure.
Disclosure covering writer, editor, and publisher: No positions in any of the securities mentioned. No positions in any of the companies or ETF sponsors mentioned. No income, revenue, or other compensation (either directly or indirectly) received from, or on behalf of, any of the companies or ETF sponsors mentioned.