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

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

What Are Smart Beta ETFs?

Market cap weighted indexes were created to reflect the market, or a specific segment of the market, and the ETF industry has traditionally been dominated by products based on this strategy.

Market cap weighted indexes work great for investors who believe in market efficiency. They provide a low-cost, convenient and transparent way of replicating market returns.

There are some investors, though, who think it's possible to beat the market with great stock selection; this group likely invests in another class of funds known as smart beta, which track non-cap weighted strategies.

Based on specific fundamental characteristics, or a combination of such, these indexes attempt to pick stocks that have a better chance of risk-return performance.

This area offers many different investment choices, such as simplest equal-weighting, fundamental weighting and volatility/momentum based weighting methodologies; however, not all of these strategies can deliver superior results.

Fund Sponsor & Index

The fund is managed by State Street Global Advisors, and has been able to amass over $2.92 billion, which makes it one of the largest ETFs in the Financials ETFs. This particular fund, before fees and expenses, 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 3.37%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

Even though ETFs offer diversified exposure that minimizes single stock risk, investors should also look at the actual holdings inside the fund. Luckily, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

KRE's heaviest allocation is in the Financials sector, which is about 100% of the portfolio.

When you look at individual holdings, Western Alliance Bancorp (WAL - Free Report) accounts for about 2.38% of the fund's total assets, followed by Pinnacle Financial Partners (PNFP - Free Report) and Zions Bancorp Na (ZION - Free Report) .

KRE's top 10 holdings account for about 21.34% of its total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

Year-to-date, the SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF has lost about -21.04% so far, and is down about -23.66% over the last 12 months (as of 09/05/2023). KRE has traded between $36.08 and $65.49 in this past 52-week period.

The ETF has a beta of 1.13 and standard deviation of 33.28% for the trailing three-year period, making it a high risk choice in the space. With about 141 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF is not a suitable option for investors seeking to outperform the Financials ETFs segment of the market. Instead, there are other ETFs in the space which investors should consider.

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 $60.06 million in assets, iShares U.S. Regional Banks ETF has $675.50 million. KBWR has an expense ratio of 0.35% and IAT charges 0.40%.

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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