Options on the MSCI® EAFE® (MXEA) and MSCI Emerging Markets (MXEF) indexes offer investors the potential opportunity to manage global equity exposure, mitigate portfolio risk, and generate additional options premium income.

Benefits of MSCI EAFE and Emerging Markets Index Options

  • Large Contract SizeMXEA and MXEF options have large notional size - approximately 25 to 30 times the size of comparable ETF options

    Cash SettledTrading account is credited/debited in cash, not ETF shares

  • European ExerciseNo risk of early assignment

    60/40 Tax TreatmentCapital gains may benefit from 60/40 tax treatment*

Historical Performance for MSCI EAFE, MSCI Emerging Markets, and S&P 500 Indexes

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 Critical Periods   

Trading MSCI Options

The MSCI EAFE® (ticker MXEA) and MSCI Emerging Markets (ticker MXEF) Indexes are leading benchmarks for tracking large- and mid-cap developed and emerging market equity performance outside of North America, respectively.

Trading in expiring MXEA and MXEF options ends at 4:15 p.m. (Eastern time) on the business day (usually a Thursday) preceding their expiration date.


Comparison of MSCI Options Products

Description MSCI EAFE® Index Options iShares® MSCI EAFE ETF
Options Chain MXEA EFA
Root Ticker Symbol MXEA EFA
AM or PM Settlement PM-settled PM-settled
Approximate Notional Size
Exercise Style European American
Settlement Type Cash Physical Shares of ETF
Description MSCI Emerging Markets Index iShares® MSCI EEM ETF
Options Chain MXEF EEM
Root Ticker Symbol MXEF EEM
AM or PM Settlement PM-settled PM-settled
Approximate Notional Size
Exercise Style European American
Settlement Type Cash Physical Shares of ETF

Cboe MSCI Options Strategy Benchmark Indexes

Strategy benchmarks provide investors with a measure of the relative performance of MSCI EAFE and Emerging Markets Index-based options strategies over time.

Intraday    1M   3M    6M    1Y    5Y    All    
 Critical Periods   

*Under section 1256 of the Tax Code, profit and loss on transactions in certain exchange-traded options, including SPX, are entitled to be taxed at a rate equal to 60% long-term and 40% short-term capital gain or loss, provided that the investor involved and the strategy employed satisfy the criteria of the Tax Code. Investors should consult with their tax advisors to determine how the profit and loss on any particular option strategy will be taxed. Tax laws and regulations change from time to time and may be subject to varying interpretations.