Norway exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, provide investors with exposure to Norway's relatively stable economy in relation to European economies experiencing slow growth. As of 2014, Norway's real gross domestic product, or GDP, growth rate is 1.8%, which is greater than the GDP growth rates of the European Union, Germany, France, Spain and Switzerland. Norway is ranked 28th in the world with an unemployment rate of 3.5%, one of the lowest in the world.
Based on 2013 data provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Norway was the third-largest exporter of natural gas in the world, with 108.2 billion cubic meters, and the 12th-largest net exporter of oil. ETFs tracking the Norway equity market are heavily weighted toward the energy sector and can serve as a diversified, tactical investment in the energy sector.
iShares MSCI Norway Capped ETF
The iShares MSCI Norway Capped ETF (BATS: ENOR) was issued on Jan. 23, 2012, on the BATS exchange by BlackRock iShares. ENOR seeks to provide investment results corresponding to the MSCI Norway Investable Market Index 25/50, the fund's underlying index. ENOR's underlying index measures the performance of Norway's broad-based equity market and uses a capping methodology to select its constituents. This index limits the weight of any single security to a maximum of 25%. Additionally, the sum of securities with more than 5% of the weight of the underlying index is limited to a maximum of 50% of the weight of the index, collectively.
ENOR uses a passive investment approach and does not seek to outperform its underlying index. This helps reduce transaction costs and tracking errors. ENOR charges a competitive expense ratio of 0.53%, while the average expense ratio of miscellaneous region ETFs is 0.58%. ENOR's investment advisor, BlackRock Fund Advisors, implements a representative sampling strategy, and is not required to invest in all securities included in the underlying index. BlackRock Fund Advisors can hold all securities in the underlying index and selects securities that are expected to collectively have similar characteristics to that of ENOR's underlying index. ENOR invests at least 90% of its total net assets in securities or depositary receipts of securities in its underlying index.
ENOR is heavily weighted toward the energy and financials sector, with 30.11% of its portfolio allocated to the energy sector and 20.83% allocated to the financials sector. Therefore, the fund carries a high degree of sector risk. Based on trailing three-year data, ENOR has a standard deviation of 18.11% and an equity beta, against the S&P 500 Index, of 0.49.
In terms of modern portfolio theory, or MPT, ENOR is best-suited for long-term, highly risk-tolerant investors seeking to gain exposure to a portfolio of stocks heavily weighted toward energy and finance companies in Norway. The fund is also suitable for investors who wish to diversify their holdings away from the U.S. ENOR's specialized exposure is best as a satellite holding in a diversified portfolio.
Global X MSCI Norway ETF
Issued on Nov. 9, 2010, by Global X, the Global X MSCI Norway ETF (NYSEARCA: NORW) tracks the MSCI Norway IMI 25/50 Index, the same underlying index as its lone competitor, ENOR. Under normal circumstances, NORW invests at least 80% of its total net assets in securities and depositary receipts of securities in the underlying index. NORW employs a replication indexing strategy, which indicates that the fund invests in the underlying index's constituents with approximately the same weightings as the index. NORW may also employ a representative sampling, or indexing strategy, again, like ENOR. The fund's advisor, Global X Management Company LLC, expects NORW and its underlying index to have a correlation, before fees and expenses, of greater than 95%.
As of July 31, 2015, based on trailing three-year data, NORW has a standard deviation of 20.8%; a 30-day SEC yield of 3.77%; and a beta, against the S&P 500 Index, of 1.54. Like its competitor, NORW is heavily weighted toward the energy and financials sector. In terms of MPT, NORW is best suited for highly risk-tolerant investors seeking to gain exposure to Norway's equity market while being heavily overweight in energy and finance companies and potentially receiving a dividend.