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To wit, why isn't there an analogue of XEF (that holds developED markets' stocks) for developING markets? Foreign Withholding Taxes by Justin Bender and Bortolotti don't list this category. I'm not asking about ZEM as it directly holds just 85% of its stocks.

XEF/XEC or XAW inside RRSP? : CanadianInvestor

ZEM is also slightly more tax efficient than XEC due to holding 85ish% of emerging equities directly rather than via USD ETFs[,] meaning only one layer of foreign withholding tax on 85% of it.

VIU/VEE (Vanguard) or XEF/XEC (iShares)? : CanadianInvestor

XEF holds its shares directly which saves you considerably more in terms of dividend withholding taxes. Both are fine but XEF/XEC provides better overall return.

XEF/XEC or XAW inside RRSP? : CanadianInvestor

XEF does this! It holds stocks directly and would work from that perspective.

XEC does not, it holds a USD ETF of emerging markets. ZEM tracks the same index as XEC but holds 85% stocks directly. ZEM can replace XEC and the two funds track each other extremely closely.

Does VEE hold the stocks directly? : PersonalFinanceCanada

No, VEE doesn't hold the stocks directly. I don't believe there is any Canadian emerging market ETF that directly holds the stocks. It would probably cost too much and make it uncompetitive. [Why?]

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This is old news now. Zem hit a billion in assets and now only 3% or something is in US wrap ETF. Keep in mind this is quite good relative to international. Even some major European countries hold wraps of US ETFs. It does come down to cost and volume for some of the smaller EM shares in the index. Until you get to a certain point of assets its not worth it on trading costs to hold it directly. Again though, old news. Zem is almost 100% direct hold.

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