Invest in Europe’s Largest Companies via ETFs

The SPDR DJ Euro Stoxx 50 ETF (FEZ) and SPDR DJ Stoxx 50 ETF (FEU) offer exposure to some of the largest companies in Europe. FEZ is the largest of the two funds with an asset base of $166M.

1.The SPDR DJ Euro Stoxx 50 ETF (FEZ)
FEZ tracks the performance of the Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50 index. This index represents 50 blue-chip companies in the Eurozone which excludes the UK. As of October close, the fund is up 19.10%. Financials comprise about 31% of the portfolio. Some of the top 10 holdings include Eni (E), BNP Paribas (OTC: BNPQY), Total(TOT) and BBVA (BBV).

2. The SPDR DJ Stoxx 50 ETF (FEU)
This ETF tries to replicate the performance of the Dow Jones Stoxx 50 index index. The UK is included in this index. The total assets in this ETF is $56M which is much lower than that of the Euro Stoxx 50 ETF – FEZ. The expense ratio is 0.29% and the dividend yield is 5.05% . The financial sector accounts for 28% of the fund. In addition to the Euro Zone companies, FEZ includes top British companies such as GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Vodafone (VOD), BP (BP) and HSBC Holdings (HBC).

As investors have correctly identified with pouring more assets into FEZ, the Euro Stoxx ETF is a better option than Stoxx ETF since FEZ excludes the UK. As the British economy is suffering much more than than the countries of Continental Europe, it is likely that UK will lag in economic recovery. Already the export-oriented German economy is picking up and the unemployment level has been decreasing for the past four months. Italy, Spain and France have also held up strong during the recent global financial crisis.

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