Legg Mason unveils debut ETFs

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Legg Mason unveils debut ETFs

Legg Mason, a global asset management firm, has unveiled its debut exchange-traded fund line-up of four outcome-oriented index-based ETFs launched in partnership with its investment affiliate QS Investors. The four ETFs are branded under the Legg Mason name and began trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market on December 29, 2015. Rick Genoni, Head of the ETF business at Legg Mason, said: “We are excited to begin building our ETF offering and will continue to identify ways in which we can capitalize on the investment strengths of the Legg Mason investment affiliates.” The firm plans to launch additional ETF products in the coming months.

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Latest news

Oil price falls will benefit markets in 2016, says ETF issuer Source Oil price falls will benefit markets in 2016, says ETF issuer Source

Despite the negative fallout from plummeting oil prices, the net effect will be positive for markets and the global economy in 2016, according to Source, one of the largest providers of ETFs in Europe. Paul Jackson, Head of Multi-Asset Research at Source, commented: “Based on recent evidence it seems that markets prefer an elevated oil price. However, this should not be the case. Of course, low prices cause distress for oil producers and their suppliers but everybody else benefits. For example, the fact that in the first 11 months of 2015 China imported 9% more oil than the preceding year but has paid 41% less for it means that there has been an enormous transfer of spending power to China.”

BlackRock’s iShares leads ETF industry with $130bn in new flows in 2015 BlackRock’s iShares leads ETF industry with $130bn in new flows in 2015

BlackRock’s exchange-traded funds business, iShares, led the global ETF industry in 2015 by winning $130bn in new flows. The ETF giant – the firm has more than $1 trillion in ETF assets – set new growth records in the US and Europe, and won 42% of flows in both markets. The overall industry expanded at a record-breaking $347bn in 2015. Mark Wiedman, Global Head of iShares at BlackRock, said: “Despite lacklustre equity markets in 2015, the global ETF industry set a new growth record of $347bn. Institutional and retail investors are using ETFs more and more, whether as tools to express a view on almost any financial market, or for long-term core investments.”

JP Morgan expands smart beta suite with launch of European equity ETF JP Morgan expands smart beta suite with launch of European equity ETF

JP Morgan Asset Management has announced the launch of the JP Morgan Diversified Return Europe Equity ETF (NYSE: JPEU). Linked to the the FTSE Developed Europe Diversified Factor Index, the new fund provides broad coverage of developed market equities trading in Europe and seeks favourable returns by targeting firms with attractive fundamental valuations, quality characteristics and strong price momentum. The fund, which has been listed on the NYSE Arca, is the latest offering in its growing smart beta “strategic beta ETFs” line-up, which already includes US, global, international and emerging market equity exposures.

WisdomTree Launches Long/Short and Bearish US Equity ETFs on BATS Exchange WisdomTree unveils innovative long/short and “bearish” equity ETFs on BATS

WisdomTree, a leading provider of exchange-traded funds, has expanded their line-up of ETFs listed on the BATS Exchange with two innovative new hedge fund-style product launches: the WisdomTree Dynamic Long/Short US Equity Fund (DYLS) and the WisdomTree Dynamic Bearish US Equity Fund (DYB). Jeremy Schwartz, WisdomTree Director of Research, commented: “WisdomTree’s strategies challenge the traditional long/short and hedge fund community with systematic, liquid long/short index-based ETFs. DYLS and DYB are designed to generate alpha at the core through quantitative and fundamental stock selection – while also having the ability to hedge market risk dynamically.”

Equities

Alpha Architect targets international quality momentum stocks with launch of active smart beta ETF AlphaArchitect launches actively managed international MomentumShares ETF

Alpha Architect, the investment firm behind the MomentumShares brand, has announced the launch of its fourth actively managed ETF: the MomentumShares International Quantitative Momentum ETF (BATS: IMOM). Listed on the BATS Exchange, the new fund applies the firm’s proprietary quality- and price momentum-oriented investment approach to international developed market stocks. Dr Wesley Gray, co-CIO of Alpha Architect, said: “We seek to deliver a high-conviction momentum approach backed by extensive academic and market research and a substantive knowledge of the manner in which irrational investor behaviour creates mispricing.”

Commodities

Anybody fancy buying gold miners? David Stevenson on gold equities and gold mining ETFs Africa’s capital markets advance with pioneering launch of rhodium ETF on JSE

Standard Bank, one of Africa’s largest banks by assets and earnings, has announced the launch of the continent’s first exchange-traded fund to track movements in the US dollar spot price of rhodium. The AfricaRhodium ETF, listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, complements an existing suite of platinum group metal (PGM) ETFs which now offers local investors a more rounded exposure to the PGM industry, of which South Africa is a global leader.

Fixed Income

Bloomberg to acquire Barclays indices Bloomberg to acquire Barclays’ fixed income indices

Bloomberg, a leading financial data provider, has agreed to buy Barclays’ fixed income indexing and risk analytics business in a deal worth approximately £520m. The acquisition positions Bloomberg as a major index player in the fast-growing exchange-traded funds industry. Deborah Fuhr, Managing Partner at ETFGI, an independent research and consulting firm, said: “Bloomberg’s announced acquisition of Barclays’ index business is significant news as Barclays is the dominant provider of fixed income indices. Based on findings in our end of November report, Barclays is currently the fourth largest provider of indices used by ETFs/ETPs listed globally ranked by assets invested in the products.”

Alternatives / Multi-Asset

MSCI rolls out momentum indices; USA index lined up for iShares ETF Guggenheim adopts momentum filter within $500m multi-asset income ETF

Guggenheim Investments, a leading US issuer of exchange-traded funds, has adjusted the methodology behind their Guggenheim Multi-Asset Income Index ETF (NYSE Arca: CVY). The fund has added a momentum filter to its stock selection process, joining existing screening factors such as yield, liquidity, and relative value.

ETF and Index News

Amundi ETF offers access to Japan’s Topix with inbuilt euro/yen hedge S&P Dow Jones launches S&P/JPX Dividend Aristocrats Index

Index provider S&P Dow Jones Indices has teamed up with the Japan Exchange Group and the Tokyo Stock Exchange to launch the S&P/JPX Dividend Aristocrats Index. The index is designed to measure the performance of the highest dividend yielding companies within the Tokyo Stock Price Index, or TOPIX, universe that have followed a policy of increasing or maintaining stable dividends for at least 10 straight years. The index expands the hugely popular “Dividend Aristocrats” range and becomes the third index in the new S&P/JPX Smart Beta Index Series.