Tough Times: Spotlight On iShares MSCI Italy ETF

| About: iShares MSCI (EWI)

ETF spotlight on the iShares MSCI Italy (NYSEARCA:EWI), part of an ongoing series.

Assets: $98 million.

Objective: The iShares MSCI Italy Index Fund tries to reflect the performance of the MSCI Italy Index, which holds publicly traded securities in the Italian market.

Holdings: Top holdings include: ENI SPA 22.15%, ENEL SPA 13.13%, Intesa Sanpaolo 7.56%, Unicredit SPA 6.69% and Saipem SPA 4.91%.

What You Should Know:

  • BlackRock’s iShares ETF division sponsors the fund.
  • EWI has an expense ratio of 0.54%.
  • The ETF has 31 holdings.
  • The fund has a 12-month yield of 3.59%.
  • EWI is down 1.60% over the past month, down 10.55% over the last three months and down 23.15% year-to-date.

The Latest News:

  • EWI recently fell below its 50-day exponential moving average after the recent string of disconcerting news. The fund was up 4.07% at last check Thursday.
  • On Wednesday, borrowing costs on Italian bonds were at a dangerous record high of over 7.0%.
  • Italian markets recovered slightly as lawmakers ousted Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and replaced his government with technocrats led by former European Commissioner Mario Monti, according to The NY Times.
  • On Thursday, the European Commission stated that the Italian economy will stagnate in 2012 and eek out growth of just 0.1%, according to The Economic Times.
  • “A renewed slowdown in economic activity is now under way in Italy, amid high risk aversion and increasing uncertainty in the domestic and international economic environment,” the commission said in a EU economic report.
  • The commission expects Italian growth to “remain flat” in the third quarter of 2011 and diminish 0.2% in the last quarter of the year.
  • The 2011 economic forecast was lowered to 0.5% from 1.0%.
  • The commission also stated that budget cuts and austerity measures needed to restore market confidence will likely continue to weigh on growth.

iShares MSCI Italy ETF

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Max Chen contributed to this article.

Disclosure: None