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iShares lists first international ETF
11 February 2014
International security settlement structure expected to lower costs and risks
BlackRock's iShares has listed the first international exchange
traded fund (ETF) in continental Europe.
The iShares Euro Stoxx 50 ex-Financials UCITS ETF (EXFN) is the
first in the region to have an international securities
structure, which means it is the first to be issued and settled
at an international central securities depository (ICSD).
It is listed on Euronext's Amsterdam market and transactions
are settled at Euroclear Bank.
Market participants hope it will lead to growth in the European
"Adapting the market infrastructure to reflect the pan-European
profile of ETFs should provide further operational efficiencies
to issuers and liquidity providers, but more importantly
improve on-exchange spreads and market depth available to
end-investors," said Pedro Fernandes, head of European ETPs at
Historically, cross-border transactions in ETFs have been
settled in several national central securities depositories
(CSDs) with associated costs and risks. It is expected that the
international structure will reduce the operational and trading
costs of investing in ETFs.
"We anticipate that this new structure will enable investors to
gain easier access to one of the most dynamic markets while
benefitting from reduced costs. This will help us in our
ambitions to not only grow the market but also to increase
market efficiency for our clients," said Gert-Jan
Verhagen, head of iShares Netherlands.