International diversification through iShares and their rivals

Jie Cao, Rao Fu, Yong Jin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the diversification benefits of iShares in comparison with closedend country funds and American depositary receipts between April 1996 and December 2013. iShare are country-specific exchange-traded funds that track specific Morgan Stanley Capital International country indexes, and thus are expected to provide diversification gains that are superior to their rivals. Our main findings are as follows. First, although all of these financial instruments are significantly exposed to the US market, they retain significant exposure to their home markets and provideim portant diversification benefits. Second, mean variance spanning and Sharpe ratio test results provide strong evidence that iS hares can neither outperform nor replace closed-end country funds and American depositary receipts for international diversification. Finally, a combination of these domestically traded securities could exhaust the gains from unattainable direct foreign investment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-55
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Risk
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


  • American depositary receipts
  • Closed-end country funds
  • Exchange-traded funds
  • International diversification
  • Mean–variance spanning tests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Strategy and Management


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