An ETF Menage Trois India Style
iShares, the world's largest ETF issuer, will add to its BATS-listed lineup on Thursday with the debut of the iShares MSCI India Small Cap Index Fund (BATS: SMIN).
But where the iShares MSCI India Small Cap Index Fund is trading isn't the most interesting thing about this ETF. Nor is the fact that SMIN represents another addition to the world of global small-cap ETFs. And no, the most interesting thing about SMIN isn't that its iShares' second India ETF in less than a week after going years without any ETFs devoted to the world's second-fastest growing major economy.
Noteworthy facts to be sure, but perhaps the most interesting fact about SMIN is that it's yet another iShares ETF that isn't the first of its kind.
Actually, SMIN, which features an expense ratio of 0.74%, will be the third ETF to track Indian small-caps. The EGShares India Small Cap ETF (NYSE: SCIN) was the first followed by the Market Vectors India Small-Cap ETF (NYSE: SCIF). Both funds have been around since 2010 and have done pretty well for themselves. SCIF has raked in over $47 million in AUM.
In 2012, SCIF and SCIN have been among two of the best-performing non-leveraged ETFs on the market with gains of almost 45% and 40%, respectively. In other words, it's a good thing the new iShares offering undercuts SCIF and SCIN on fees (both charge 0.85%) because if that weren't the case, SMIN might have a hard time making inroads against the more established duo.
More choice is usually a good thing for investors, but a third India small-cap ETF? We'll just let the market decide how necessary SMIN is, but if the new ETF forces EGShares and Market Vectors to lower the fees on their India small-cap funds then we'll raise a glass to ETF competition.
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