By Jared Cummans
After January saw the introduction of nearly two dozen ETFs, February was a bit of a slowdown from a product development standpoint. Still, the month saw plenty of activity, as 14 new exchange-traded products launched and the pipeline continued to fill with both duplicative concepts and innovative ideas. February proved that the industry still has plenty of good ideas, as several of the funds to debut in February were first-to-market products giving investors new ways to play commodities such as natural gas and gold and targeted sub-sectors of the tech industry. Below, we highlight all of the new additions to the ETF lineup over the last month, as well as some new fund filings:
ETFs that began trading in February include:
- Teucrium launched Natural Gas Fund (NAGS), a futures-based product that could gain popularity as an alternative to the ultra-popular UNG. Both invest in natural gas futures, but unlike UNG, NAGS will spread exposure across multiple maturities. The investment objective of the new fund is to reflect the daily changes in percentage terms of a weighted average of the following: the nearest to spot month March, April, October, and November Henry Hub Natural Gas Futures Contracts traded on the NYMEX, weighted 25% equally in each contract month. Later in the month, Teucrium unveiled a new oil ETF, CRUD. This fund is designed to reflect changes in the price of light, sweet crude oil, as measured by the changes in price of the futures contract on light, sweet crude oil traded on the NYMEX. Like NAGS, CRUD spreads exposure to WTI futures across multiple exchanges, with the aim of reducing the influence of contango and backwardation.
- Global X debuted its Andean ETF (AND), the first U.S.-listed fund to offer exposure to the South American economies of Chile, Colombia, and Peru. Following the trend of regional international exposure, the company launched the FTSE ASEAN 40 ETF (ASEA) soon after. That ETF tracks the performance of the 40 largest companies in the five ASEAN regions: Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
- ProShares rolled out its UltraShort TIPS (TPS) fund, which seeks daily investment results that correspond to 200% the inverse of the daily performance of the Barclays Capital U.S. Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) Index (Series-L).
- First Trust debuted their one-of-a-kind new fund, NASDAQ CEA Smartphone Index Fund (FONE). The new fund is global in nature, with U.S. companies accounting for about 45% of assets. At the individual security level, FONE’s components includes some well known firms such as Motorola, Samsung, and LG Electronics as well as a number of companies with which most consumers likely aren’t familiar. The underlying index is weighted 45% each to handsets and software applications/hardware components, with the remaining 10% going to network operators.
- This past month saw a new issuer enter the ETF world with FactorShares. The company debuted a line of five leveraged ETFs that offer exposure to spreads between various asset classes, including large cap U.S. stocks, long-dated Treasuries, oil, gold, and the U.S. dollar. The company launched the following products: 2x S&P 500 Bull/T-Bond Bear (FSE), 2x T-Bond Bull/S&P 500 Bear (FSA), 2x S&P 500 Bull/USD Bear (FSU), 2x Oil Bull/S&P 500 Bear (FOL), and 2x Gold Bull/S&P 500 Bear (FSG).
- State Street launched two new products this month that will focus on emerging markets. The first fund, SPDR Barclays Capital Emerging Markets Local Bond ETF (EBND), seeks to replicate an index that tracks the fixed-rate local currency sovereign debt of emerging market countries. The second, SPDR S&P Emerging Markets Dividend ETF (EDIV), follows an index that tracks dividend paying securities of publicly-traded companies in emerging markets.
February saw a healthy number of filings for new products. Below we outline funds announced in the past four weeks:
- iShares hasn’t launched any new ETFs since rolling out its short-term TIPS fund (STIP) in early December, but recently detailed plans for a international preferred stock ETF in an SEC filing; the proposed S&P International Preferred Stock Index Fund would seek to replicate the S&P International Preferred Stock Index.
- U.S. One Trust filed for three new ETFs this month: Russell Global Opportunity ETF (ONEO), Russell Bond ETF (ONEB), and Russell Inflation ETF (ONEI). All three of these products will invest in ETP’s, following the mold of the existing One Fund (ONEF).
Guggenheim unveiled plans to bring four new funds to market: the ABC High Dividend Yield ETF, BMAC Commodity Producers ETF, Small-Mid Cap BRIC ETF, and International High Dividend ETF. The company also announced plans for a China Bond ETF that will invest in publicly-available bonds that are eligible for investment by U.S. investors and denominated in Chinese Yuan.
- WisdomTree revealed plans for a fund that will seek to deliver a real rate of return over inflation regardless of market conditions. This will potentially be accomplished by investing in a variety of different instruments that are heavily influenced by inflation rates such as interest rates, inflation-linked bonds, and commodities.
Global X announced plans to bring seven new small cap ETFs to market. The funds will invest in regions like Germany, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
- ETF Securities released plans to create physically-backed ETFs that will hold a variety of industrial metals. In total the seven proposed funds will invest in aluminum, copper, lead, nickel, tin, and zinc, as well as a basket fund which will invest in all of the six aforementioned commodities.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.
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