Archive for August 2015

UBS launches socially responsible Japan ETF

Aug 28th, 2015 | By
UBS cross-lists six GBP-hedged equity ETFs on SIX

UBS has expanded its suite of socially responsible ETFs with the launch of the UBS ETF – MSCI Japan Socially Responsible ETF. The new ETF provides exposure to Japanese companies that meet strict environmental, social and governance criteria. “Investors are increasingly looking to access companies whose business activities are in harmony with social values and whose approach to managing environmental, social and corporate governance risks is first-rate”, said Andrew Walsh, Head of UBS ETF Sales UK & Ireland. “It follows that deciding to invest in a sustainable way isn’t about following a trend. On the contrary, the investment decision is primarily about striving for values and sustainability.”



SCM Private closes multi-asset ETF owing to lack of investor interest

Aug 28th, 2015 | By
SCM Private closes multi-asset ETF owing to lack of investor interest

SCM Private, a London-based wealth management firm co-founded by former New Star CIO Alan Miller, has announced the closure of the db X-trackers SCM Multi Asset ETF. The ETF, which launched in March 2012 in partnership with Deutsche Bank’s db X-trackers platform, aimed to provide inflation-beating returns through an actively managed tactical allocation to different ETFs. Whilst the performance of the fund was acceptable, commercial success did not follow, with assets under management falling below £500,000, rendering the fund economically unviable.



Vanguard launches tax-exempt municipal bond ETF on NYSE

Aug 28th, 2015 | By
Vanguard launch tax-exempt municipal bond ETF

Vanguard, a leading provider exchange-traded funds, has announced the launch of the Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond ETF (VTEB). The ETF, which has been listed on the NYSE Arca, tracks the S&P National AMT-Free Municipal Bond Index. The fund provides liquid exposure to a diversified range of investment-grade tax-exempt US municipal bonds, offering investors a moderate level of current income and a potential tool to enhance portfolio diversification. “We believe a fund focused on high-quality municipal securities with greater liquidity relative to the overall municipal bond market will reduce credit and liquidity risk,” said Chris Alwine, head of Vanguard’s Municipal Bond Group.



Combining smart beta factor ETFs makes sense, says Lyxor

Aug 27th, 2015 | By
Smart beta ETFs: constructing multi-factor portfolios

The success of smart beta ETFs has been hard to miss, but there has been a lack of conversation about how these products can be combined together effectively and applied with in strategic and tactical portfolios. A recent thought leadership piece from Lyxor, a leading provider of ETFs in Europe, provides insight into the potential applications of factor-based ETFs in portfolio construction. According to authors Thierry Roncalli and Jean-Charles Richard, “a factor-based allocation approach requires a rethink of this traditional method. But diversification across risk factor strategies makes a great deal of sense, particularly since the past correlation levels between individual factors have been quite weak.”



O’Shares expands quality income suite with currency-hedged ETFs

Aug 27th, 2015 | By
Kevin O'Leary, Chairman of O'Shares ETF Investments

O’Shares Investments, a Boston-based exchange-traded fund issuer, has rounded out a suite of quality dividend ETFs with the launch of the currency-hedged O’Shares FTSE Europe Quality Dividend Hedged ETF (OEUH) and O’Shares FTSE Asia Pacific Quality Dividend Hedged ETF (OAPH). The new hedged products compliment two existing ETFs offering exposure to European and Asia Pacific equities by incorporating the additional benefit of an in-built currency hedge. “Offering both a hedged and unhedged index for the international strategies provides tools for investors with different outlooks on currency movements or different risk tolerances, to capture the multi-factor strategy in a way that’s best aligned with their individual or institutional mandates,” said O’Leary.



BlackRock to acquire robo-adviser FutureAdvisor

Aug 26th, 2015 | By
Investors turn to ETFs during Tuesday’s market volatility, finds BlackRock

BlackRock, the asset manager behind the iShares exchange-traded fund range, has announced that it is acquiring FutureAdvisor, the fifth-largest “robo-adviser” in the US. “As demand for digital wealth management grows, we believe that our combined offering will accelerate our partner firms’ abilities to serve the mass-affluent in a convenient, scalable way,” said Tom Fortin, Head of Retail Technology for BlackRock. The service will be branded ‘FutureAdvisor Powered by BlackRock Solutions’.



Horizons launches actively managed global opportunities ETF

Aug 26th, 2015 | By
Horizons ETFs launch actively-managed global opportunities fund

Horizons, a leading Canadian exchange-traded fund issuer, has announced the launch of the Horizons Managed Global Opportunities ETF (HGM) on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Actively managed by British Columbia-based Forstrong Global Asset Management, the fund uses flexible tactical allocation among several global asset classes to seek long-term investment returns. Howard Atkinson, President of Horizons ETFs, said: “The potential benefits of Horizons Managed Global Opportunities ETF are that it adds to the global diversification of one’s portfolio, and offers a risk-based approach to managing asset allocation.”



First bitcoin ETF could list in Korea next year

Aug 26th, 2015 | By
The first bitcoin ETF tracking could be listed in Korea next year

The world’s first bitcoin exchange-traded fund could list on the Korea Exchange next year, according to Korean news reports. Korea Investment Trust Management, a Seoul-based investment manager, is expected to launch the fund which will track the value of bitcoin based on prices from Korbit, South Korea’s bitcoin exchange.



Sell-off presents potential entry point to China ETFs

Aug 25th, 2015 | By
MarketGrader and CSI partner on smart beta China A-shares indices

Following a 21% fall in China’s Shanghai Composite over the past five days and devaluation of the yuan, now could be an opportune time for contrarian investors and/or those with long investment horizons seeking a target allocation to the world’s second-largest economy to begin to progressively build a position in ETFs exposed to the country’s equity and bond markets. The fundamentals, including vast foreign exchange reserves, a healthy current account surplus, moderate fiscal deficit and plenty of capacity for fiscal and monetary stimulus, certainly suggest that over the long term this may prove astute.



Utilities and consumer staples ETFs offer stability amid market turbulence

Aug 25th, 2015 | By
Play safe with Consumer Staples ETFs

ETFs tracking defensive sectors of the stock market can play an important role in an investor’s portfolio, especially during bouts of market volatility. Defensive sectors, such as consumer staples and utilities, are those sectors that have typically delivered less volatile earnings and provided more consistent dividend streams regardless of the prevailing phase of the business cycle. Although defensive sectors generally underperform the market during periods of growth and expansion, they have historically yielded superior returns during recessions and bear markets, thus adding much-needed stability and diversification to a portfolio.