BlackRock launches ‘world first’ Israel ETF

Tel Aviv Stock ExchangeiShares, BlackRock’s exchange-traded fund (ETF) division, has launched a physically-replicating ETF focused on the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) for European investors.

The iShares TA-25 Israel Ucits ETF will track the performance of the exchange’s 25 largest stocks, at an annual fee of 0.6%. Holding weightings will vary, but capped at 10% of the ETF’s portfolio. The ETF will re-balance on a semi-annual basis.

Israel is fast becoming one of the world’s leading technology centres. Its innovation-oriented economy meant the country was among the first to rebound after the 2008/9 financial crisis. TASE is home to 461 listed stocks, with a market capitalisation of around €184 billion.

BlackRock said that the ETF is the world’s first to allow investors to invest in Israel’s national index via a Ucits framework, using their domestic currency.

The launch is the latest in a series for iShares. The division currently offers 70 country-specific ETFs domiciled in Europe.

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