Exchange-Traded Assets Continue to Grow, Despite Market Jitters
Market volatility may be making investors wary about the stock market, but they continue to find exchange-traded funds and other products alluring, as new industry data shows, despite a small dip in ETF assets in Europe.
The world of exchange-traded funds keeps getting larger, week by week and month by month, as new data made available by ETFGI, a London-based independent research and consulting firm covering the industry reveals. And the pace of that growth shows few signs of slowing down, as both the number of new products and the assets invested in them continue to climb.
At the end of June 2012, when the second quarter drew to a close, the global exchange-traded product industry included 3,309 ETFs; including other exchange-traded vehicles, the number of products was closer to 4,684. That is up from 3,030 and 4,342, respectively, at the end of 2011. Total assets invested worldwide in both ETFs and ETPs hit $1.68 trillion, up from $1.53 trillion at the end of 2011. Of that latter figure, about $1.18 trillion is accounted for by the ETF/ETP industry in the United States.
Even as financial markets struggled during the second quarter of 2012, investors continued to direct assets into ETFs and providers continued to introduce new products. In June alone, global inflows into ETFs totaled $18.6 million, bringing year-to-date inflows to $99.8 billion. In June, 25 new ETFs made their debut, while only 7 were delisted; so far in 2012, providers have launched 322 new ETFs and a mere 42 have been delisted. One sign that the volatile markets may be taking a toll on the ETF market is the fact that average daily trading volumes dipped 7.3% in June over May’s levels.
In Europe, the while the number of exchange-traded vehicles has continued to grow since the sovereign debt crisis emerged as a major source of concern, assets have declined. At the end of the second quarter of 2012, European ETFs had $277 billion in assets, down from $293 at the end of 2012.
While the lion’s share of exchange-traded funds and other products are linked to equities, vehicles tied to fixed income and commodities prices also have attracted investor interest and net inflows.
For more insight into the state of the global ETF market, including market share data, please see this report from ETFGI.