Under The Hood: iShares Philippines ETF

Less than a month old, the iShares MSCI Philippines Investable Market Index Fund
EPHE
is the first country-specific offering tracking what may prove to be another Asian tiger. We know this much: The Philippines is considered part of Southeast Asia and that region is home to some of the most rapidly expanding economies and best-performing emerging markets ETFs in the world. Think Indonesia, Thailand and some others. In other words, the catalysts are in place for EPHE to be another stellar performer representing an Asian country. Forecasts call for GDP growth of 6.2% this year. Since its inception on September 28, EPHE has accumulated almost $8.8 million in assets, a pretty tidy haul in less than a month. The expense ratio is 0.65%. As is the case with many other emerging markets ETFs, EPHE is heavily weighted to one sector. In this case, financials dominate with almost 48% of EPHE's sector allocation. Telecom and utilities each get about 15.8% while industrials check in at 13.5%. Philippine Long Distance
PHI
, the most significant Philippine stock trading in the U.S., is EPHE's largest individual holding at 12.2%. EPHE is up slightly since its debut, but with a robust outlook for the Philippines economy and investors' love affair with all things emerging markets, don't expect the "slightly" to last long.
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