Hartford Funds expands multifactor suite with two low volatility ETFs

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Low volatility ETFs – a good investment?

Low volatility strategies have gained significant traction in Europe, fuelled by investors looking to reduce risk in volatile markets. In a new research paper, which analyses the growing popularity of such strategies, Morningstar estimates that they have racked up €27 billion of net flows since 2012, with total assets under management reaching €40bn as of year-end 2016. A decent chunk of these assets are held in ETFs, with iShares’ European-domiciled minimum volatility suite, for example, housing some €4 billion in AUM alone. But are they good investments?

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Latest news

CESC launches Mainland China private enterprise ‘elite’ index

What next for China ETFs after Moody’s downgrade?

On 24 May, Moody’s downgraded China’s long-term local currency and foreign currency issuer ratings to A1 from Aa3 and changed the outlook from stable to negative. This comes on the back of efforts by Chinese authorities to reduce a build-up of debt, after becoming concerned about financial sector stability and asset price bubbles. With short-term uncertainty around China on the rise, what can ETF investors expect in the years ahead?

PowerShares launches S&P 500 multi-factor ETF

Invesco PowerShares launches S&P 500 multi-factor ETF

Invesco Powershares has launched a smart beta factor strategy ETF, based on S&P 500 constituents, on the London Stock Exchange. The PowerShares S&P 500 QVM UCITS ETF (LON: PQVM), which will also list on other European exchanges, employs a multi-factor approach using quality, value and momentum to allocate to companies from the S&P 500. Nicholas Samaran, head of product development, EMEA, PowerShares, said: “A multi-factor methodology helps focus on specific factors but avoids the potential challenges of choosing and timing factors”.

First Trust lists US equity income ETF on Borsa Italiana

VanEck Vectors lists four ETFs on Borsa Italiana

ETF provider VanEck Vectors has expanded its presence in Europe with the cross listing of four ETFs on the Borsa Italiana. Philipp Schlegel, international business development at VanEck, said: “Within recent years, Borsa Italiana has recorded a significant rise in average daily ETF trades on the Italian stock exchange. By listing our ETFs on Borsa Italiana, we are responding to investor demand for access to local trading.”

Smart beta usage continues to grow reports FTSE Russell

Nearly half of all asset owners now using smart beta: FTSE Russell survey

Nearly half of all asset owners now have an allocation to smart beta, according to the latest annual smart beta survey from index provider FTSE Russell. Forty-six percent of asset owners now use smart beta, marking the highest adoption rate since the survey’s inception in 2014. This is up from 36% in 2016 and 26% in 2015, with a further 25% currently evaluating smart beta but with no allocation at present. The outlook for smart beta continues to look positive, too, with 76% of respondents planning to increase their allocation within the next 18 months.

New ETF provider aims to be industry disruptor

GraniteShares aims to be ETF industry disruptor

A new US-based ETF provider, GraniteShares, aims to disrupt the ETF industry by offering low-cost commodity ETFs with a smarter product structure. The firm officially launched with the listing of its first two ETFs on the New York Stock Exchange.

JP Morgan unveils smart beta ETF on NYSE Arca

JP Morgan launches active ultra-short fixed income ETF

J.P. Morgan Asset Management has launched the JPMorgan Ultra-Short Income ETF (Bats Exchange: JPST), an actively managed ETF that aims to provide current income while maintaining low volatility of principal.

UBS unveils new US alternative beta equity ETF

UBS launches factor-tilted US equity ETF

UBS Asset Management has launched the “alternative beta” UBS MSCI USA Select Factor Mix UCITS ETF (USFM) on the London Stock Exchange, providing access to US equities while tilting the portfolio towards factors that have historically provided risk-adjusted outperformance over the long term. Andrew Walsh, head of passive and ETF specialist sales UK & Ireland at UBS, said: “Investors are increasingly seeing alternative beta as an important component of portfolios, and assets in factor ETFs and ETPs now total more than $500 billion globally.”


FTSE Russell launches float adjusted China A-shares indexes

FTSE Russell launches float adjusted China A-shares indexes

FTSE Russell has launched the FTSE China A Free Indexes, offering a free float adjusted version of the FTSE China A Indexes, a common benchmark used by international investors when referencing the performance of China’s A-shares market.

Pakistan MSCI

Pakistan set to join MSCI Emerging Markets ETFs

Index provider MSCI has re-confirmed the upgrade of Pakistan from frontier market to emerging markets status following the firm’s latest market reclassification review. The move will see Pakistan rejoin the bellwether MSCI Emerging Markets Index, tracked by several large ETFs in Europe including the giant iShares Core EM IMI UCITS ETF (LON: EIMI).


Greg Sharenow, real assets portfolio manager at PIMCO.

OPEC and oil prices: Looking ahead to the May meeting

By Greg Sharenow, real assets portfolio manager at PIMCO.

For all the attention paid to changes in US shale output, OPEC is capable of swinging oil balances more in a single month than US shale can in a year. As a result, any oil outlook must make some material assumptions about OPEC’s intentions at the upcoming meetings later this month and in November.

BNP Paribas launches six industrial metals ETCs

BNP Paribas launches six industrial metals ETCs on Xetra

BNP Paribas has unveiled six new exchange-traded commodities on Deutsche Börse’s Xetra and Frankfurt exchanges, tracking the performance of futures contracts in various industrial metals including aluminium, lead, copper, nickel, zinc and tin.

Fixed Income

Solactive launches US investment grade corporate bond index

Solactive launches US investment grade corporate bond index

Frankfurt-based index provider Solactive has unveiled the Solactive USD Investment Grade Corporate Index, tracking the performance of US dollar-denominated investment grade corporate bonds.

WisdomTree launches enhanced US short-term bond fund

WisdomTree launches enhanced yield US short-term bond ETF

WisdomTree has launched the WisdomTree Barclays Yield Enhanced US Short-Term Aggregate Bond Fund (Bats: SHAG). The ETF seeks to enhance yield but maintain similar risk characteristics compared to the short end of the US Aggregate fixed income universe.

Alternatives / Multi-Asset

Weighing Scale

MV Index Solutions launches global long/short equity index

MV Index Solutions has launched the MVIS All World Long/Short Equity Index which aims to capture the systematic returns (beta) of long/short equity hedge funds that invest both regionally and globally. After identifying the factors driving these hedge funds returns, the index mimics the exposure by constructing a low volatility portfolio of ETFs corresponding to the factors with the most positive momentum.

Solactive launches global infrastructure low earnings volatility index

Solactive launches global infrastructure low earnings volatility index

Solactive has unveiled the Solactive Global Infrastructure Low Earnings Volatility Index, a reference for the performance of a global portfolio of 100 companies operating in the infrastructure space that exhibit low volatility in reported earnings compared to their peers.

ETF and Index News

ETF/ETP assets in Japan reach record highs despite outflows

ETF/ETP assets in Japan reach record highs despite outflows

Assets invested in exchange-traded funds and exchange-traded products listed in Japan have reached a new record high of $209 billion at the end of April 2017, despite monthly net outflows of $837 million, according to analysis by ETF industry consultant ETFGI.

Vanguard launches online investment service for UK investors

Vanguard has launched a new investment service for retail investors in the UK that provides direct access to the firm’s ETF range as well as Vanguard’s other funds for an administration fee of just 0.15% per annum. Sean Hagerty, head of Vanguard’s European business, commented: “We aim to deliver investors the highest value investment products and services available with an unwavering commitment to lowering the cost of investing in the UK.”

FTSE Russell – IFA Video Series

Selecting the right ETF

Selecting the right ETF, with Allan Lane, Managing Partner, Twenty20 Investments, Lida Eslami, Manager, Listed Products, London Stock Exchange and Mark Cherill, Founding Partner, Incisive Wealth Strategies.

ETFs as market access tools

ETFs as market access tools, with Gerard Stocks, Founder & CIO, Foxborough Wealth Management, Liz Wright, Head of UK Wealth and Intermediaries, ETF Securities, and Simon Smith, MD, ETF Strategy.