Global ETF Assets Break Through $1 Trillion Milestone

trillion-dollarsLatest data from the “ETF Landscape Year End 2009” preview report published today by BlackRock’s Global ETF Research and Implementation Strategy team reveals that global assets invested in ETFs at the end of 2009 were over US$1 trillion (US$1,032 Bn).

BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE: BLK) today announced that Global Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)1 assets hit an all time high of $1 trillion (US$1,032 Bn) at the end of December 2009 – 45.2% above US$710.9 Bn at the end of 2008, according to the latest figures from BlackRock published today in its ETF Landscape Year End 2009 preview report. The global ETF industry had 1,939 ETFs with 3,775 listings, and assets of US$1,032 Bn from 109 providers on 40 exchanges around the world at the end of December 2009. Year-To-Date (YTD) assets have risen by 45.2%, which is more than the 27.0% rise in the MSCI World Index in US dollar terms.

“Exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, are investment companies that are legally classified as open-end companies or Unit Investment Trusts (UITs), but that differ from traditional open-end companies and UITs in several respects”

The challenging market conditions of 2008 caused a significant shift in investors’ risk appetite in their evaluation of counterparty risk and their desire for liquidity. During 2009 many investors found that ETFs met their desire for greater transparency in relation to the issues of cost, transparency of holdings, transparency of price, liquidity, product structure, risk and return as they relate to investment alternatives.

ETFs are index-based2 open-ended funds that can be bought and sold as quickly and easily as ordinary shares on a stock exchange – they have become popular and widely used investment vehicles to achieve many investment strategies:

• to gain diversified exposure to a market

• for core/satellite investing

• for buy and hold investing

• for active traders who wish to take advantage of market movements

• for investors wishing to hedge the market

• as an alternative to futures and other institutional investment tools.

“In a world where investment products come and go with the blink of an eye, ETFs might be considered one of the most innovative financial products in the last two decades. They have fundamentally changed how both institutional and retail investors construct their investment portfolios.

ETF providers have continued to expand their product ranges in more specialised areas to cater for the growing number of professional and retail investors using ETFs as advanced portfolio construction tools. With the increasing availability of these highly-specialised ETFs across the full spectrum of equities, fixed income and alternative investments, investors can use ETFs to help instantly reallocate capital to take advantage of new investment opportunities.

Over the past decade the compound annual growth rate for ETF assets globally was 56.3%, it was 58.1% in the United States, 53.1% in Canada and 90.5% in Europe, and there are no signs that investor interest in ETFs is fading. Investors are finding that ETFs are products that work well in every market environment,” said Deborah Fuhr, Global Head of ETF Research & Implementation Strategy at BlackRock.

Capital flows this year within ETFs also demonstrate how these innovative investment products have become important bellwethers to gauge shifts in investor sentiment between asset classes. During the year, fixed income, equity and commodity-based ETFs enjoyed heavy inflows as some investors adjusted their risk profiles. In the beginning of the year given rising levels of risk aversion, ETFs tracking equity markets perceived as higher risk suffered much of the capital outflow, notably Asian and global (excluding US) equities.

After the markets turned in March, and kept rising through year-end, investments moved back into areas that had been shunned for the preceding year and a half. The changes in investor sentiment are shown in the net new asset data into ETFs tracking corporate bond, inflation, aggregate indices, international and emerging market indices and commodities.

Notes for editors:

Combining both ETFs and Exchange Traded Products (ETPs), there were 2,558 products with 4,687 listings, assets of US$1,186.5 Bn from 132 providers on 43 exchanges around the world at year end 2009.

ETF Landscape – Industry Review is BlackRock’s comprehensive monthly market commentary, which covers Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and Exchange Traded Products (ETPs) across the globe. ETFs are open-end index funds that provide daily portfolio transparency, are listed and traded on exchanges like stocks on a secondary basis as well as utilising a unique creation and redemption process for primary transactions. ETPs are products that have similarities to ETFs in the way they trade and settle but they do not use an open-end investment company structure. The use of other structures including grantor trusts, partnerships, notes and commodity pools by ETPs can create different tax and regulatory implications for investors when compared to ETFs which are funds. This document includes rankings of ETF and ETP providers, ETFs, index providers and exchanges globally, in the United States, Europe, Japan, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, as well as by country. This commentary should not be regarded as a research report.

In the United States the term ETFs is increasingly being used to cover a broad set of products with dissimilar characteristics from those described above including products such as closed-end funds, HOLDRS and notes. These product structures do not fall within the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) definition of an ETF, which is posted on the Internet: “Exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, are investment companies that are legally classified as open-end companies or Unit Investment Trusts (UITs), but that differ from traditional open-end companies and UITs in several respects”: These differences can be found at: www.sec.gov/answers/etf.htm.

About BlackRock: BlackRock is a leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients worldwide. With approximately $3.2 trillion under management as of 30 September, 2009 (pro forma), BlackRock offers products that span the risk spectrum to meet clients’ needs, including active, enhanced and index strategies across markets and asset classes. Products are offered in a variety of structures including separate accounts, mutual funds, iShares® exchange traded funds, and other pooled investment vehicles. BlackRock also offers risk management, advisory and enterprise investment system services to a broad base of institutional investors through BlackRock Solutions®. Headquartered in New York City, the firm has over 8,500 employees in 24 countries. For additional information, please visit BlackRock’s website at www.blackrock.com.

About iShares: iShares is the global product leader in exchange traded funds with over 410 funds globally across equities, fixed income and commodities, which trade on 16 exchanges worldwide3. The iShares funds are bought and sold like common stocks on securities exchanges. The iShares funds are attractive to many individual and institutional investors and financial intermediaries because of their relative low cost, tax efficiency and trading flexibility. Investors can purchase and sell shares through any brokerage firm, financial advisor, or online broker, and hold the funds in any type of brokerage account. The iShares customer base consists of the institutional segment of pension plans and fund managers, as well as the retail segment of financial advisors and high net worth individuals.

Disclaimer

Call 1-800-iShares to request a prospectus, which includes investment objectives, risks, fees, expenses and other information that you should read and consider carefully before investing.

Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal.

Transactions in shares of the iShares Funds will result in brokerage commissions and will generate tax consequences. iShares Funds are obliged to distribute portfolio gains to shareholders. Shares of the iShares Funds may be sold throughout the day on the exchange through any brokerage account. However, shares may only be redeemed directly from a Fund by Authorized Participants, in very large creation/redemption units. There can be no assurance that an active trading market for such shares will develop or be maintained.

In addition to the normal risks associated with investing, international investments may involve risk of capital loss from unfavorable fluctuation in currency values, from differences in generally accepted accounting principles or from economic or political instability in other nations. Emerging markets involve heightened risks related to the same factors as well as increased volatility and lower trading volume. Securities focusing on a single country may be subject to higher volatility. Bonds and bond funds will decrease in value as interest rates rise.

The strategies discussed are strictly for illustrative and educational purposes and should not be construed as a recommendation to purchase or sell, or an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security. There is no guarantee that any strategies discussed will be effective.

The information provided is not intended to be tax advice. Investors should be urged to consult their tax professionals or financial advisers for more information regarding their specific tax situations. Neither BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A. and its affiliates nor SEI and its affiliates provide investment or tax advice.

The iShares Funds (“Funds”) are distributed by SEI Investments Distribution Co. (“SEI”). BlackRock Fund Advisors (“BFA”) serves as the investment advisor to the Funds. BFA is a subsidiary of BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A., neither of which is affiliated with SEI.

© 2010 BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A. All rights reserved. iShares® is a registered trademark of BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A. All other trademarks, servicemarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners. iS-2090-0110

1 ETFs are open-end index funds that provide daily portfolio transparency, are listed and traded on exchanges like stocks on a secondary basis as well as utilising a unique creation and redemption process for primary transactions. ETPs are products that have similarities to ETFs in the way they trade and settle but they do not use an open-end investment company structure. The use of other structures including grantor trusts, partnerships, notes and commodity pools by ETPs can create different tax and regulatory implications for investors when compared to ETFs which are funds.

2 Most are index-based, but some are active

3Source: Data from Bloomberg and BlackRock ETF Landscape Industry Preview Year End 2009

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Contacts

Media:
Christine Hudacko
[email protected]
+1-415-670-2687
or
ETF Research contact:
Deborah Fuhr, Global Head of ETF Research & Implementation Strategy
Office : +44-20-7668-4276
Mobile : +44 777 5823 111
[email protected]
or
Media:
Caroline Hancock
[email protected]
+44-20-7668-8649

 

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