The past week was a relatively quiet one in the ETF industry in terms of new product launches, with just three new ETFs debuting. First Trust kicked off and capped the activity, debuting the first car ETF on Tuesday and rolling out another addition to its AlphaDEX suite later in the week. Those launches sandwiched Van Eck’s debut of the first Latin America Bond ETF (BONO). But ETF issuers remain very active in the product development space, as a number of companies stuffed new ideas into their product pipelines over the last several days. Below, we highlight an incredibly busy stretch of ETF filings, including first to market ideas and challengers to existing products.
Russell Plans Real Return ETF
Russell, which acquired Reno-based U.S. One earlier this year, continues to lay the groundwork for an aggressive push into the U.S. ETF industry (the indexing branch of the firm is already behind many of the benchmarks underlying popular ETPs). In a new filing, Russell detailed plans for a Real Return ETF (ONER) that would seek to “exceed the rate of inflation over an economic cycle.” Like the existing One Fund (ONEF) and previously proposed Global Opportunity ETF (ONEO) and Bond ETF (ONEB), this product would be a fund of funds that invests in other ETFs to achieve its objective.
IndexIQ already offers the IQ CPI Inflation Hedged ETF (CPI), and WisdomTree also detailed a real return fund earlier this year.
Rydex Plans Equal Weight Expansion
After debuting a number of international equal-weighted ETFs over the last several months, Rydex has now filed to further expand its suite of domestic products; a recent SEC filing included details on its equal-weighted offerings, including the S&P SmallCap 600 Equal Weight ETF and S&P MidCap 400 Equal Weight ETF. Those funds would implement a methodology similar to the Rydex S&P Equal Weight ETF (RSP), which holds all stocks in the S&P 500 in an equal amount. RSP, which now has more than $3.2 billion in assets, has performed very well compared to cap-weighted S&P 500 ETFs in recent years.
Van Eck Details Mortgage REIT ETF
Van Eck, known for its expertise in hard assets and emerging markets, has laid the groundwork for an ETF covering a very different asset class. An SEC filing shed some light on the proposed Market Vectors Mortgage REIT ETF, which would invest in companies that make loans to developers and owners of properties and invests primarily in mortgages and similar real estate interests.
Global X Readies for Auto ETF, Farming ETF
In an updated SEC filing, Global X disclosed new details on funds that could be launching in the near future. The Global X Auto ETF will trade under the ticker VROM, and will charge an expense ratio of 0.65%. The Global X Farming ETF managed to snag the ticker “BARN” and will charge an expense ratio of 0.68%. Filings specifying ticker symbol and expense ratios often indicate that a launch is imminent.
China Bond Fund ... From an Unexpected Issuer
San Francisco-based ETSpreads, which has previously proposed ETPs involving credit default swaps, went in another direction with its latest SEC filing. The company detailed the ETS Offshore RMB Bond Fund, which would seek to replicate a not-yet-determined index consisting of bonds denominated in Renminbi and issued outside the Mainland of China.
Direxion Gets Busy on India, Quant ETFs
Direxion, best known as an issuer of inverse and leveraged ETFs, detailed plans for a suite of India ETFs this week, including sector-specific funds and a small- and mid-cap India ETF. Also, in a separate filing, the company detailed three funds that would replicate “enhanced” indexes that use quantitative models in an attempt to generate alpha relative to broad universes of equities.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.
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