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Low volatility ETFs – a good investment?

May 24th, 2017 | By
Hartford Funds expands multifactor suite with two low volatility ETFs

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?

What next for China ETFs after Moody’s downgrade?

May 24th, 2017 | By
CESC launches Mainland China private enterprise ‘elite’ index

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?

Invesco PowerShares launches S&P 500 multi-factor ETF

May 23rd, 2017 | By
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”.

VanEck Vectors lists four ETFs on Borsa Italiana

May 23rd, 2017 | By
First Trust lists US equity income ETF 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.”

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

May 23rd, 2017 | By
Smart beta usage continues to grow reports FTSE Russell

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.

GraniteShares aims to be ETF industry disruptor

May 22nd, 2017 | By
New ETF provider aims to be 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 launches active ultra-short fixed income ETF

May 22nd, 2017 | By
JP Morgan unveils smart beta ETF on NYSE Arca

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 launches factor-tilted US equity ETF

May 19th, 2017 | By
UBS unveils new US alternative beta 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.”