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Is SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF (KRE) a Strong ETF Right Now?

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Designed to provide broad exposure to the Financials ETFs category of the market, the SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF (KRE - Free Report) is a smart beta exchange traded fund launched on 06/19/2006.

What Are Smart Beta ETFs?

Products that are based on market cap weighted indexes, which are strategies designed to reflect a specific market segment or the market as a whole, have traditionally dominated the ETF industry.

Market cap weighted indexes offer a low-cost, convenient, and transparent way of replicating market returns, and are a good option for investors who believe in market efficiency.

On the other hand, some investors who believe that it is possible to beat the market by superior stock selection opt to invest in another class of funds that track non-cap weighted strategies--popularly known as smart beta.

Non-cap weighted indexes try to choose stocks that have a better chance of risk-return performance, which is based on specific fundamental characteristics, or a mix of other such characteristics.

While this space offers a number of choices to investors, including simplest equal-weighting, fundamental weighting and volatility/momentum based weighting methodologies, not all these strategies have been able to deliver superior results.

Fund Sponsor & Index

Because the fund has amassed over $3.48 billion, this makes it one of the largest ETFs in the Financials ETFs. KRE is managed by State Street Global Advisors. Before fees and expenses, this particular fund seeks to match the performance of the S&P Regional Banks Select Industry Index.

The S&P Regional Banks Select Industry Index represents the regional banks segment of the S&P Total Market Index.

Cost & Other Expenses

For ETF investors, expense ratios are an important factor when considering a fund's return; in the long-term, cheaper funds actually have the ability to outperform their more expensive cousins if all other things remain the same.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.35%, making it one of the cheaper products in the space.

KRE's 12-month trailing dividend yield is 2.31%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

ETFs offer diversified exposure and thus minimize single stock risk, but it is still important to delve into a fund's holdings before investing. Most ETFs are very transparent products and many disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

This ETF has heaviest allocation in the Financials sector - about 100% of the portfolio.

Looking at individual holdings, First Citizens Bancshares Inc. Class A (FCNCA - Free Report) accounts for about 1.71% of total assets, followed by Silvergate Capital Corp. Class A (SI - Free Report) and Old National Bancorp (ONB - Free Report) .

Its top 10 holdings account for approximately 15.48% of KRE's total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF has lost about -10.83% so far this year and is down about -11.88% in the last one year (as of 11/22/2022). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $56.83 and $78.78.

The ETF has a beta of 1.15 and standard deviation of 41.89% for the trailing three-year period, making it a high risk choice in the space. With about 146 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF is an excellent option for investors seeking to outperform the Financials ETFs segment of the market. There are other ETFs in the space which investors could consider as well.

Invesco KBW Regional Banking ETF (KBWR - Free Report) tracks KBW Nasdaq Regional Banking Index and the iShares U.S. Regional Banks ETF (IAT - Free Report) tracks Dow Jones U.S. Select Regional Banks Index. Invesco KBW Regional Banking ETF has $82.66 million in assets, iShares U.S. Regional Banks ETF has $772.04 million. KBWR has an expense ratio of 0.35% and IAT charges 0.39%.

Investors looking for cheaper and lower-risk options should consider traditional market cap weighted ETFs that aim to match the returns of the Financials ETFs.

Bottom Line

To learn more about this product and other ETFs, screen for products that match your investment objectives and read articles on latest developments in the ETF investing universe, please visit Zacks ETF Center.

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