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Back in January, BlackRock announced four new international sector suites under the iShares brand and launched the first five ETFs within those suites. Last Friday (7/16/10), iShares completed the rollout on one of these suites, the All-Country World Index excluding US, with nine new ETFs.

The underlying indexes from MSCI target the 10 GICS sector indexes for the MSCI All Country World ex USA Index. Each uses a free float-adjusted market capitalization weighted approach designed to capture the market performance of developed and emerging market countries, excluding the United States. As a result, many of the new ETFs have emerging markets represented in their top five country allocations.

Most non-US sector fund lineups have not met with success. When iShares began the rollout of four additional ones in January, I thought there were too many suites vying for attention and some would fail. Just a week later, WisdomTree announced the closure of 10 funds, including seven of its international sector ETFs

Many major equity research organizations believe it is much more important to categorize international equities by sector rather than country. This new lineup from iShares now allows individual investors to take a similar approach.

All the new ETFs have an expense ratio of 0.48% and appear more diversified than existing international sector suites. For completeness, I’ve included AXFN, the financial ETF, along with the nine new ETFs below even though AXFN was launched in January.

iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Consumer Discretionary Sector Index Fund (NYSEARCA:AXDI) consists of 171 holdings. According to the AXDI fact sheet (pdf), the top five country allocations are Japan 35.0%, France 11.5%, UK 9.3%, Germany 8.7%, and South Korea 4.8%. The largest industry representations include Automobiles 30.8%, Media 16.3%, Household Durables 10.4%, Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods 9.1%, Hotels, and Restaurants & Leisure 8.5%. Individual stock holdings and other information can be found in the AXDI overview.

iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Consumer Staples Sector Index Fund (NYSEARCA:AXSL) consists of 111 holdings. According to the AXSL fact sheet (pdf), the top five country allocations are UK 24.7%, Switzerland 14.4%, Japan 9.7%, France 8.5%, and Netherlands 6.5%. The largest industry representations include Food Products 34.0%, Food & Staples Retailing 25.6%, Beverages 19.0%, and Tobacco 10.9%. Individual stock holdings and other information can be found in the AXSL overview.

iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Energy Sector Index Fund (NYSEARCA:AXEN) consists of 103 holdings. According to the AXEN fact sheet (pdf), the top five country allocations are UK 27.0%, Canada 20.1%, Russia 7.8%, Brazil 7.8%, and France 7.6%. Industry representation is Oil, Gas & Fuels 95.9% and Energy Equipment & Services 4.1%. Individual stock holdings and other information can be found in the AXEN overview.

iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Health Care Sector Index Fund (NYSEARCA:AXHE) consists of 62 holdings. According to the AXHE fact sheet (pdf), the top five country allocations are Switzerland 26.8%, UK 21.1%, Japan, 14.6%, France 9.8%, and Germany 9.3%. The largest industry representations include Pharmaceuticals 84.4%, Equipment & Supplies 8.9%, and Providers & Services 3.1%. Individual stock holdings and other information can be found in the AXHE overview.

iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Industrials Sector Index Fund (NYSEARCA:AXID) consists of 220 holdings. According to the AXID fact sheet (pdf), the top five country allocations are Japan 30.7%, France 8.9%, Germany 7.9%, UK 7.1%, and Sweden 5.1%. The largest industry representations include Machinery 17.5%, Conglomerates 15.7%, Electrical Equipment 11.5%, and Road & Rail 9.6%. Individual stock holdings and other information can be found in the AXID overview.

iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Information Technology Sector Index Fund (NYSEARCA:AXIT) consists of 85 holdings. According to the AXIT fact sheet (pdf), the top five country allocations are Japan 31.8%, Taiwan 21.9%, South Korea 13.4%, Germany 4.9%, and India 4.4%. The largest industry representations include Semiconductors & Equipment 26.1%, Electronic Equipment & Components 22.0%, Communication Equipment 12.7%, and Software 10.1%. Individual stock holdings and other information can be found in the AXIT overview.

iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Materials Sector Index Fund (NYSEARCA:AXMT) consists of 184 holdings. According to the AXMT fact sheet (pdf), the top five country allocations are UK 15.9%, Canada 13.4%, Australia 12.1%, Japan 10.7%, and Brazil 8.4%. The largest industry representations include Metals & Mining 65.2%, Chemicals 24.6%, Construction Materials 6.4%, and Paper & Packaging 3.9%. Individual stock holdings and other information can be found in the AXMT overview.

iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Telecommunications Services Sector Index Fund (NYSEARCA:AXTE) consists of 69 holdings. According to the AXTE fact sheet (pdf), the top five country allocations are UK 16.5%, Spain 10.1%, Japan 9.9%, China 9.2%, and Mexico 7.2%. Industry representation is Diversified Services 52.4% and Wireless Services 47.6%. Individual stock holdings and other information can be found in the AXTE overview.

iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Utilities Sector Index Fund (NYSEARCA:AXUT) consists of 74 holdings. According to the AXUT fact sheet (pdf), the top five country allocations are Japan 19.5%, Germany 14.2%, UK 12.3%, France 10.3%, and Italy 6.9%. The largest industry representations include Electric Utilities 58.0%, Multi-Utilities 24.2%, and Gas Utilities 8.8%. Individual stock holdings and other information can be found in the AXUT overview.

iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Financials Sector Index Fund (NASDAQ:AXFN) consists of 268 holdings. According to the AXFN fact sheet (pdf), the top five country allocations are UK 12.4%, Japan 11.0%, Canada 10.6%, Australia 10.1%, and China 7.0%. The largest industry representations include Banks 59.8%, Insurance 16.6%, Diversified Financials 12.0%, and Real Estate 10.6% Individual stock holdings and other information can be found in the AXFN overview.

Disclosure covering writer, editor, publisher, and affiliates: No positions in any of the securities mentioned. No positions in any of the companies or ETF sponsors mentioned. No income, revenue, or other compensation (either directly or indirectly) received from, or on behalf of, any of the companies or ETF sponsors mentioned.

Source: iShares Completes Rollout of MSCI All-Country ex-U.S. Sector ETF Suite