SSgA SPDR to launch hedged and unhedged global equity ETFs on ASX

Mar 12th, 2013 | By | Category: Equities

SPDR ETFs, the exchange-traded funds platform of State Street Global Advisors (SSgA), is set to roll out a pair of ETFs designed to give Australian investors access to international equities.

SSgA SPDR to launch hedged and unhedged global equity ETFs on ASX

SPDR ETFs, the exchange-traded funds platform of State Street Global Advisors, is set to launch a pair of hedged and unhedged global equity ETFs on the ASX.

The funds, which will be listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), are the SPDR S&P World ex-Australia (Hedged) ETF (WXHG) and the SPDR S&P World ex-Australia ETF (WXOZ).

The funds offer hedged and unhedged exposure respectively to the S&P World ex-Australia Index, a broad market capitalisation-weighted index comprising approximately 350 large-cap and mid-cap companies from 25 developed countries around the world, excluding Australia.

The unhedged ETF will begin trading on the ASX in coming weeks, subject to exchange approval, with the currency hedged version following shortly after. The currency hedged version is designed to reduce the impact of exchange rate fluctuations.

Amanda Skelly, SSgA’s head of SPDR ETFs in Australia, said: “Many Australians want to invest in international equities such as Adidas, Louis Vuitton and Toyota. For the first time they will be able to access approximately 350 international equities through an ETF priced in Australian dollars and listed solely on the ASX.”

Ms Skelly continued: “Many investors already hold a large allocation to Australian equities. So the new ETFs will appeal to investors wanting to buy more equities but not wanting to increase their domestic weighting. The unhedged ETF will appeal to investors who think the Australian dollar will go down.”

She added that people know big global names like Google but don’t know how to invest in them. And they are worried about the tax and currency implications of doing so. SSgA’s aim, stressed Ms Skelly, was to give Australian investors the building-blocks they need to construct a well-diversified portfolio tailored to meet their financial goals.

“These new ETFs add to our existing suite of Australian equities and bond ETFs. We want to make it easy for investors to get exposure to a broad spread of international equities, with or without currency risk, through an Australian domiciled and traded ETF”, stated Ms Skelly.

SSgA pioneered the ETF industry in Australia and is the largest provider in the country, with some $3 billion in local ETF assets under management. It launched Australia’s most liquid and heavily traded ETF, the SPDR S&P/ASX 200 ETF (STW), in 2001.

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