Worldwide the number of exchange traded funds (ETFs) is now 2,422 with stock exchange listings over 5,000 at the end of November, according to ETF provider BlackRock.
The ETF Landscape report said assets of $1,231billion we held in ETFs, with the largest number of ETFs in Europe where the industry consists of 1,052 ETFs with 38 different providers and listings on 22 stock exchanges. ETFs are funds listed on stock exchanges which will generally have holdings replicating a particular equity or bond index in a bid to deliver performance inline with an index such as the FTSE 100 or MSCI Emerging Markets.
There was $3billion (approximately £1.9billion) of new investment in European listed funds in November. Net inflows (deducting outflows from funds) into European ETFs and exchange traded products (ETPs) was $2.6billion; $1billion went into products tracking emerging market indices.
ETPs is a broader categorisation that includes exchange traded commodities (ETCs) that will track the performance of a commodity or directly hold commodities like gold. These are known as exchange traded notes (ETNs) because they are debt instruments backed by the physical asset, the product issuer or a third party guarantor.
BlackRock, which provides ETFs through its iShares brand, said there was $0.7billion net inflows into commodity ETFs/ETPs, the majority of which went into precious metal exposure.
On 10 December, HSBC said it had listed on the London Stock Exchange the HSBC MSCI World ETF that offered investors exposure to returns from the performance of the MSCI World Index designed to measure the equity performance of developed markets.
The fund will invest in the largest, most liquid stocks in the index which consists of over 1,600 companies across 24 markets, including Australia, France, Germany, the UK and the US.
Head of ETFs at HSBC, Farley Thomas, said: “MSCI World is one of those iconic indices for tracking developed markets worldwide. The launch of the HSBC MSCI World ETF is therefore an important milestone in the development of our range of HSBC ETFs in Europe.”
Two of the other ETFs currently available that also track the MSCI World Index are the iShares MSCI World and the DB X-Trackers MSCI TRN Index from Deutsche Bank.
In the year ending 9 December 2010 the MSCI World index has returned 11.12 per cent, having recovered from falls during the middle part of the year.
© Fair Investment Company Ltd