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Stoxx, a global index provider best known for its suite of European equity benchmarks, has announced that the Stoxx Europe 50 Index has been licensed to ICBC Credit Suisse to serve as the basis for a new exchange-traded fund (ETF).
It is the first time that the index, which tracks the performance of 50 of Europe’s largest companies, has been licensed to underlie an ETF in China. The CEO of Stoxx and the CIO of ICBC Credit Suisse gathered at an official signing ceremony in Beijing to mark the occasion.
Outside of China there are five ETFs based on the index, available from iShares, SPDR, ETFlab, Amundi and Source. The largest of these is the iShares Stoxx Europe 50 UCITS ETF (EUN) with €537 million in assets.
Hartmut Graf, chief executive officer of Stoxx, said: “The Stoxx Europe 50 Index comprises 50 of Europe’s largest companies, among them Nestlé, HSBC and Siemens. The index’s liquidity, transparency and rules based methodology make it an ideal tool to participate in the performance of Europe’s equity markets. The signing ceremony marks the first time this index is licensed in China, and is a highlight for Stoxx as we further expand our footprint in the Asian region.”
A statement from ICBC Credit Suisse said: “As a top 10 asset management company in China (in terms of AUM), ICBC Credit Suisse initiated its index investment management business in 2009. With a focus on developing broad-based index products, ICBC Credit Suisse now has a portfolio of index products which includes index funds, ETFs, and structured index funds covering both equity and fixed-income markets with a top-tier tracking error records….The licensing of the European blue chip equity index, Stoxx Europe 50, is a major step forward for establishing the index investment management business’s global presence at ICBC Credit Suisse.”
The Stoxx Europe 50 Index was launched in February 1998. It represents 50 large-cap companies selected from 18 eligible European countries, namely Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
The index is weighted by float-adjusted market capitalisation, subject to an individual weight cap of 10%. Major constituents include Nestle, HSBC, Novartis, Roche, Vodafone, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi and Total. At the sector level, consumer discretionary companies form the largest component with 21.44%, followed by financials with 20.82%, health care with 17.86%, oil and gas with 13.08% and basic materials with 9.79%.