UK- iShares, the exchange traded fund provider, today launched the FTSE Eurotop 100 ETF which enables investors to invest in Europe’s 100 largest companies while avoiding currency transaction costs. The LSE-listed fund adds to the eleven other iShares funds available in the UK and managed by Barclays Global Investors.

ETFs were launched in North America in 1993 and now account for almost $85bn in assets. iShares are marketed as having the attributes of both shares and funds. They are identical to other listed shares in that investors can trade them through any stockbroker at any time during market hours but, like a fund, provide exposure to a market or sector.

John Demaine, iShares director, says of the launch: “over the past year ETFs in Europe have seen exponential growth in assets from $675 to $5.6bn. We believe they are already changing the face of the investment landscape because they are good value, transparent and easy to invest in.”