Analyse: iShares AEX UCITS ETF

Wer auf den niederländischen Leitindex setzt, hat zwar geringe Diversifikationseffekte im Aktienportfolio, legt damit aber einen Schwerpunkt auf Rohstoff-, Konsum- und Energie-Aktien.

Hortense Bioy, CFA 28.02.2014
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Rolle im Portfolio

iShares AEX provides low-cost exposure to Dutch large-cap equities and can be used as a core holding. This well-diversified fund could appeal to investors looking to build a Dutch-centric portfolio. However, it should be noted that the performance of the AEX is closely correlated to international indices. Over the last five years, the AEX has shown an 89% correlation to the widely-held EURO STOXX 50. The AEX has shown an 88% correlation to the MSCI World over the same period. This reflects the fact that some of the largest constituents of the Dutch index, such as Unilever and Royal Dutch Shell, are truly global players. iShares AEX can also act as a tactical tool to overweight Dutch equities within a diversified portfolio. It could be useful for those who want to place a bet on the near-to-medium-term prospects of the Dutch market under the belief that the benchmark index is undervalued. However, it is important for investors to examine the index’s constituents. Like many country indices, the AEX is fairly top heavy, with the top 10 constituents accounting for about 78% of its value. The financial sector account for about a quarter of the index's total value. Investors outside of the Eurozone looking at this euro-denominated fund should be aware of currency risk. A weakening euro will weigh on the return of the fund in the investor’s home currency.

Fundamentale Analyse

After 26 years of uninterrupted economic growth, the Netherlands--the fifth-largest economy in the euro region and the second-largest exporter after Germany--was hard-hit by the global economic crisis. The financial sector, on which the country is highly dependent, was particularly vulnerable, due in part to the high level of exposure some Dutch banks had to US mortgage-backed securities. In response to the financial turmoil, the government nationalised two banks, Fortis NL and ABN AMRO, and injected billions of dollars into ING, to prevent further systemic risk. The bank bailouts and stimulus programs have, however, resulted in a deterioration of the Netherlands' public finances. The challenge for the government remains to cut spending to bring the budget deficit back to pre-crisis levels, while promoting economic recovery.

The Dutch economy emerged from its third recession since the financial crisis in Q3-2013 as exports benefited from improved activity across the US and Europe. The upturn was also driven by a reduced drag from domestic demand. However, over the medium term, growth is likely to be constrained by deleveraging across the household, corporate and government sectors. The household sector, which is the most heavily indebted in Europe, has suffered from declining house prices, falling real incomes and rising unemployment.

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Über den Autor

Hortense Bioy, CFA

Hortense Bioy, CFA  is director of passive fund research in Europe.