In an odd twist of fate, one of the steadier ETFs offering exposure to Europe is celebrating its third anniversary on a dismal day for European equities. The Global X FTSE Nordic Region ETF (NYSE:GXF), the only ETF offering combined exposure to Nordic nations, is three years removed from its debut day and the fund has proven to be one of the best Europe ETFs in that time.
GXF allocates 47.5 percent of its weight to Sweden, the largest Nordic economy, while Denmark garners a weight of 21.3 percent. Norway and Finland receive allocations of 20.5 percent and 10.7 percent, respectively.
While Nordic equities have not been entirely immune to the trials and tribulations of markets in Southern Europe, Nordic markets have shown there is an advantage to not being a member of the eurozone. Sweden, Denmark and Norway are not eurozone members, but Finland is.
Norway in particular has been prized by investors looking for Europe exposure without the burden of the faltering euro currency.
GXF, which charges an annual expense ratio of 0.5 percent, is arguably still under-appreciated even though investors have embraced the Nordic investment thesis. The fund has just $29.2 million in assets under management, a sum that belies its impressive performance. To be fair, that number is up from about $27 million in August.
Since inception, GXF is up 17.2 percent while the Vanguard MSCI Europe ETF (NYSE:VGK) has gained less than 0.4 percent. In 2012, GXF is up 21 percent, nearly double the returns offered by VGK.
Proving that combination exposure to the Nordic is a winning concept for investors, over the past year and year-to-date, GXF has outperformed the iShares MSCI Sweden Index Fund (NYSE:EWD) and the Global X Norway ETF (NYSE:NORW). GXF has also trumped the iShares MSCI Finland Capped Investable Market Index Fund (BATS: EFNL) and the iShares MSCI Denmark Capped Investable Market Index Fund (BATS: EDEN), both of which debuted in late January.
For more on Nordic ETFs, click here.
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