IndexIQ, a US-based specialist provider of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), best known for its hedge fund-style products, has surpassed $1 billion in assets under management. Adam Patti, IndexIQ’s chief executive officer, said: “In a few short years, liquid alternatives have gone from a novelty to playing an important role in a diversified investment portfolio and we’ve seen strong interest in our offerings from the institutional and retail advisor channels.”
‘ Hedge Funds ’
Stoxx, a leading index provider, has introduced the Euro Stoxx 50 BuyWrite 100% Index. The index measures the performance of a buy-write or covered-call strategy based on the Euro Stoxx 50 Index, the eurozone’s leading blue-chip equity index. The new index, which has been designed to underlie index-linked financial products such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs), represents a hypothetical portfolio of a long position in the Euro Stoxx 50 and a sold – or written – call option based on the same index.
MSCI, a leading global index provider, has broadened its suite of smart beta ‘risk premia’ indices with the introduction of the MSCI Momentum Indices, initially comprising the MSCI ACWI Momentum Index and MSCI USA Momentum Index. The new indices, which reflect the performance of an equity momentum strategy and can enhance portfolio returns and diversification, have already caught the eye of iShares, the world’s largest provider of exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
ALPS, a US-based provider of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), has announced the launch of the US Equity High Volatility Put Write Index ETF (HVPW) on the NYSE Arca. The fund provides investors with a regular income stream through the application of a put-write options trading strategy. This kind of strategy works well in trending bull markets, but can come under pressure when equity prices are declining.
International Securities Exchange (ISE) and IndexIQ have announced a broad partnership to develop and launch a range of exchange-traded products (ETPs) linked to physical commodities. While ISE is perhaps best known as a US options exchange, the company has an established index business and recently has manoeuvred itself deeper into the fast-growing ETP industry. The link-up with IndexIQ, a niche provider of alternative ETFs, looks well suited as both companies have a demonstrated pedigree in creating innovative products.
Risks continued to ease in the fourth quarter of 2012, with no signs of a reversal ahead, according to risk specialists Axioma. Melissa Brown, Senior Director of Applied Research at Axioma, said: “The decline in risk should give investors the opportunity to focus on achieving active returns.” With predicted risk considerably reduced, now could be the time for risk tolerant sophisticated investors to consider tactically adding a degree of leverage to their portfolios via leveraged exchange-traded funds (ETFs) offering geared exposure to various markets.
Toronto-based Horizons ETFs and its affiliate AlphaPro Management have added the Horizons Active S&P/TSX 60 Index Covered Call ETF (HAX) to their growing line-up of active covered call exchange-traded funds (ETFs). This latest fund, which uses a covered call options strategy on stocks within the S&P/TSX 60 Index, aims to provide investors with exposure to Canadian large-caps with mitigated downside risk and monthly distributions of dividend and call option income.
Stoxx, a leading index provider, has announced the launch of the iSTOXX Efficient Capital Managed Futures 20 Index, a new index based on research provided by Efficient Capital Management, a global leader in the Managed Futures industry. The index, which measures the performance of some of the world’s largest Commodity Trading Advisors (CTAs), has potential uses as a benchmark against a single CTA or pool of CTAs, or as an underlying for financial products such as synthetic exchange-traded funds.
The ProShares Merger ETF (MRGR), an innovative new fund from US-based alternative exchange-traded fund (ETF) specialist ProShares, is scheduled to list on the BATS Exchange on 13 December. The fund is designed to track the performance of the recently launched S&P Merger Arbitrage Index, a risk arbitrage strategy that exploits commonly observed price changes associated with a global selection of publicly announced mergers, acquisitions or other corporate reorganisations.
Reflecting the current popularity of low-volatility investment products, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) has introduced the CBOE Low Volatility Index (LOVOL), a new benchmark index designed for investors seeking more stable returns. The CBOE has built up a strong franchise in the volatility space and, within the world of indexing, is best known for the closely-watched CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), Wall Street’s so-called ‘Fear Gauge’, which underlies a number of exchange-traded products.