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iShares heads for Europe with new fund

iShares has introduced the iFTSE ExUK fund, its third exchange traded fund (ETF).

The fund is targeted at investors who are looking for low to medium risk exposure to the European market, and has Barclays Global Investors as the investment manager.

The other ETFs created by iShares are the iFTSE 100, which invests in the top 100 companies in the UK and the iFTSE TMT fund, which invests in the technology, media and telecommunications markets. The iFTSE ExUK fund fits in with these other funds well.

ETFs are popular in America, where Barclays Global Investors has a great deal of experience in running these types of investments and ETFs are now slowly becoming more popular in the UK as investors become aware of them.

iFTSE ExUK will track the FTSE ExUK 100 index, which invests in the 100 biggest firms in Europe, excluding Britain. Some of these companies include Nokia, Royal Dutch Petroleum, Siemens, UBS, Allianz and Deutsche Telecom.

The majority of the companies in the index are in countries that have entered the European single currency (Euro). As a result this does reduce the chance of any currency risk. Although the Euro has also fallen heavily since its birth, recent fears of a downturn in the US economy has led to a rise in its value as the dollar weakens slightly.

According to Standard & Poor’s the Barclays Global Investors European growth fund is ranked 80 out of 90 funds, based on £1,000 invested on a bid to bid basis with net income reinvested over three years to December 25, 2000.

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