WisdomTree ETF offers Irish exposure

IrelandExchange-traded fund (ETF) provider WisdomTree, has merged a former Irish equities ETF run by Investec into its own product and reduced the cost.

The merger to create the ISEQ 20 Ucits ETF, which is available on the London Stock Exchange, has led to an initial reduction in the total expense ratio to 0.49% due to efficiencies, WisdomTree says.

Hector McNeil, co-chief executive officer of WisdomTree Europe, says the fund is the only ETF of its kind listed within Europe.

The merger also means greater liquidity as the ETF is now available through more than 20 authorised participants and market makers, which should tighten the bid/offer spread for the ETF, which has €29 million.

Viktor Nossek, director of research at WisdomTree Europe, says investor sentiment on Irish equities is upbeat.

“Ireland’s tough austerity and reform agenda is paying off. On the back of improved economic growth and stabilised financial system, Ireland’s budget deficit is set to shrink to within the 3% EU limit.”

The ISEQ 20 Index - the Irish market-cap weighted equity benchmark containing the 20 largest stocks on the Irish Stock Exchange - has tripled its value since 2009. Nossek says performance could be sustained.

"With Ireland’s domestic demand rebounding, its exports strengthening and its banking sector restructured, the foundations have been laid for the ISEQ 20 to benefit from broad-based support of industrial, consumer and financial stocks and potentially sustain the strong performance longer term.”

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