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Pharmaceuticals are the future for iShares

Pharmaceuticals are the right medicine for iShares as it brings in the iBloomberg European pharmaceuticals fund.

European pharmaceuticals is an exchange traded fund aimed at experienced investors looking for growth.

The fund will track the Bloomberg European pharmaceutical index. This consists of 29 companies which include Glaxosmithkline, Merck, Roche Holdings, Astrazeneca and Novartis.

This is the seventh exchange traded fund that iShares has introduced into the UK over the past year. The range includes funds that track the FTSE 100, FTSE TMT and FTSE ExUK indices, and funds that track the more specialist Bloomberg technology, financial and telecom indices. The company also has 58 funds in the US.

One of the biggest advantages that exchange traded funds have over unit trusts and investment trusts is their charges, which are much lower. Most unit trusts and investment trusts have an initial charge of anything up to five per cent and an annual charge of an average of between one and 1.5 per cent. However the iShares European pharmaceutical fund only has an annual charge of 0.5 per cent.

Although many markets have been hit by recent volatility, pharmaceuticals tend to be driven more by developments such as new drugs and treatments than market movements. Many pharmaceutical companies are currently benefiting from recent developments like the decoding of the human genome.

The Bloomberg European pharmaceuticals index reached 595.5 points on April 23, 2001, up from a 52-week low of 505 points on March 21, 2001.

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