So far this year low-volatility exchange-traded funds have been among the industry’s best selling products, pulling in some $6.5 billion in net new assets in the first quarter. In keeping with this theme, S&P Dow Jones has continued the build out of its low-volatility index family with the launch of the S&P Korea Low Volatility Index. The new index seeks to measure the performance of the 50 least volatile stocks in the S&P Korea BMI.
‘ Asia Pacific ’
SPDR ETFs, the exchange-traded funds platform of State Street Global Advisors (SSgA), has expanded its equity income line-up with the launch of global and pan-Asian ‘Dividend Aristocrats’ ETFs on the London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Börse (Xetra). Scott Ebner, head of global product development at SSgA, said: “Our approach to dividend investing at SPDRs has been centred around indices that not only favour high-yielding stocks, but also focus on the sustainability of yield”.
By David Stevenson – Why are so few investors currently buying into consumer staples sector ETFs? I realise that this isn’t exactly one of those raging questions that ranks up there alongside “should we dump Europe?” and “why, oh, why are most of the singers on The Voice so bloody awful?”, but for investors I think the question really, really matters. To understand why I’m so nonplussed, let’s rewind the investment debate and establish some basic principles. The first and most basic principle is that investors worldwide are fearful about macro risk.
Indexing investment giant Vanguard has launched its intermediary business in Hong Kong and revealed plans to expand access to its products to investors throughout Asia. The firm is also set to announce the listing of its first locally domiciled exchange-traded fund (ETF), the Vanguard FTSE Asia ex-Japan Index ETF, in Hong Kong. Vanguard is the third-largest global ETF provider, with $280 billion in ETF assets.
BSE, formerly known as the Bombay Stock Exchange, and S&P Dow Jones Indices, a leading index provider, have announced the launch of the S&P BSE 500 Shariah Index. The new index measures the performance of all Shariah-compliant stocks within the broad-based S&P BSE 500 Index. The index is the first to be launched out of a strategic partnership formed between the two companies in February of this year.
As the search for yield goes international, S&P Dow Jones Indices has announced that its S&P Pan Asia Dividend Aristocrats Index has been licensed to SSgA’s SPDR ETFs division for the launch of an exchange-traded fund (ETF) based on the index. Part of the popular ‘Dividend Aristocrats’ suite, the index measures the performance of the highest yielding Pan Asian companies that have followed a managed-dividends policy of increasing dividends for at least seven consecutive years. It includes constituents from both developed and emerging markets.
Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management (DeAWM), the investment management division of Deutsche Bank, has launched five new Asia-focused exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in Hong Kong. The launch includes the territory’s first ETFs to offer exposure to equity markets in Singapore, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The other two ETFs provide exposure to Philippines equities and Asian (excluding Japan) high-dividend-yielding stocks.
The Bank of Japan (BoJ) has approved a massive multi-asset purchase programme, including the purchase of billions of dollars worth of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), designed to stimulate the Japanese economy. The BoJ will purchase Topix and Nikkei 225 ETFs so that the amount outstanding will increase at an annual pace of 1 trillion yen – approximately $10.5 billion per year.
Global X Funds, a New York-based provider of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), has launched two pioneering new funds providing access to, until now, uncharted territory for ETFs: Nigeria and Central Asia and Mongolia. Listed on the NYSE Arca, the Global X Nigeria Index ETF (NGE) and Global X Central Asia & Mongolia Index ETF (AZIA) are the world’s first ETFs to offer dedicated exposure to these frontier markets.
Vietnamese stocks have surged in 2013 making the db X-trackers FTSE Vietnam UCITS ETF (XFVT) and Market Vectors Vietnam ETF (VNM) two of the best performing exchange-traded funds (ETFs) of the year so far. A number of factors are behind the strong performance, but growing investor confidence, fuelled by renewed government action to address high levels of bad debt in the banking system and stimulate investment, is foremost among these.