U.S. Markets

Investors pull $11 billion out of 10 largest European equity ETFs YTD

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Concerned about the impact of Britain’s upcoming vote on European Union membership, investors pulled $11 billion out of the 10 largest European equity exchange-traded funds year-to-date through June 15, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence’s ETF reports on Tuesday.

Two of the largest ETFs, based on assets under management, had inflows in 2016, while others from BlackRock, SSGA Funds Management, WisdomTree, and Vanguard had sharp outflows.

Vanguard FTSE Europe, the largest of the European-focused ETFs with $12.68 billion in assets, had the third-highest year-to-date outflows, $1.06 billion, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. The Vanguard fund has a hefty 31.40 percent stake in United Kingdom domiciled securities, including HSBC Holdings and Royal Dutch Shell.

The fund also has significant exposure to companies based in France (13.9 percent of assets), Germany (13.4 percent), Switzerland (13.4 percent), and Sweden (4.9 percent).

WisdomTree Europe Hedged Equity Fund and iShares MSCI Eurozone shed $4.36 billion and $3.55 billion in client assets, respectively, to start the year.

The WisdomTree offering has more exposure to Germany (25.54 percent), France (24.67 percent), the Netherlands (17.34 percent), and Spain (14.93 percent) than its Vanguard peer, in part because it solely is focused on euro zone markets.

Reporting By Jennifer Ablan; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Meredith Mazzilli