Global X FTSE Nordic 30 ETF (GXF) began trading today (August 19, 2009), becoming the first US-listed ETF to focus on the Nordic region. The four countries represented in the fund are Sweden with a 46% current weighting, Denmark at 20%, Norway at 17%, and Finland at 17%. According to the press release, these four countries boast some of the world’s most competitive economies.
The FTSE Nordic 30 Index, on which GXF is based, is comprised of the 30 largest and most liquid companies in the Nordic region. Recent sector weightings were financials (28%), industrials (16%), technology (15%), health care (8%), and energy (8%). The largest individual holdings are Nordea Bank of Sweden (9.8%), Novo-Nordisk of Denmark (8.2%), Nokia of Finland (7.3%), Ericsson of Sweden (7.2%), and Statoil of Norway (7.0%). The expense ratio on this new ETF is 0.5%. Additional information can be found in the fund fact sheet and the list of all 30 holdings.
This is the second ETF from newcomer Global X Management Company. Their first offering, Global X/Interbolsa FTSE Colombia 20 ETF (GXG) (our article) launched on February 6, 2009. Although it has performed extremely well, trading activity is spotty at less than 5,000 shares per day.
While GXF is the first US-listed Nordic ETF, it is not the first Nordic fund. Fidelity Nordic (FNORX) has been available since November 1995. It is up +27.7% so far this year (as of 8/18/09) and boasts an annualized return since inception of +9.7% versus +5.7% for the S&P 500 (correlation = 0.72). Fidelity Nordic has a 0.75% short-term redemption fee for shares held less than 30 days, an obstacle traders will not face with the new ETF.