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Launch activity slowed to just sixteen new product introductions in December, well below 2011’s monthly average of more than twenty-five. The 308 new listings in 2011 established a new calendar year record, surpassing the 291 of 2007. The sixteen new arrivals are made up of thirteen ETFs and six ETNs.

Closure activity hit a new monthly high with 23 delistings. The previous record was set in May 2009 when PowerShares cleaned house by closing down 19 faltering funds. All 23 closures in December were ETFs (no ETNs) and resulted in seven fewer product listings at month’s end. This was the first monthly decline of ETP listings since May 2010.

The year ended with 1,369 exchange-traded products listed for trading in US markets. The current count, consisting of 1,166 ETFs and 203 ETNs, represents a 24.6% increase over year-end 2010. Actively managed ETFs remain an insignificant portion of the population, numbering just 39.

Asset growth did not keep pace with product growth. Total assets under management ended the year at $1.06 trillion, only 5.1% above the $1.01 trillion at the start of the year.

For the month of December, assets under management slipped by 0.4%. Trading activity declined about 19%, which is not surprising given the typical light volume during the year-end holidays. The decline was not equally shared between ETFs and ETNs, with ETF daily average dollar volume dropping 18.9% while ETN trading saw a massive 41.8% dropoff. Dollar volume across all products averaged just $63.5 billion per day.

The number of ETFs averaging more than $1 billion in daily trading activity (the Billion-Dollar Club) plunged from 13 to just 7 in December while still accounting for more than 56% of all ETP dollars traded. Products averaging more than $100 million of trading per day decreased from 76 to 68 while grabbing 88.9% of all ETP dollar volume.

December 2011 Month End ETFs ETNs Total
Currently Listed U.S. 1,166 203 1,369
Listed as of 12/31/2010 967 132 1,099
New Introductions for Month 13 3 16
Delistings/Closures for Month 23 0 23
Net Change for Month -10 +3 -7
New Introductions 6 mths 78 40 118
New Introductions YTD 231 77 308
Delistings/Closures YTD 32 6 38
Net Change YTD +199 +71 +270
Actively-Managed Listings 39 0 39
Assets Under Mgmt ($ billion) $1,045 $14.7 $1,060
% Change in Assets for Month -0.4% +0.4% -0.4%
Monthly $ Volume ($ billion) $1,313 $20.3 $1,334
% Change in Monthly $ Volume -18.9% -41.8% -19.4%
Avg Daily $ Volume > $1 Billion 7 0 7
Avg Daily $ Volume > $100 Million 66 2 68
Avg Daily $ Volume > $10 Million 218 9 227

Daily prices and volume of individual ETPs from Norgate Premium Data; AUM from ETF Industry Association; fund counts and all other information compiled by Invest With An Edge.

New products launched in December (in chronological order), along with links to my initial analysis of each:

  1. SPDR Barclays Capital Investment Grade Floating Rate ETF (NYSEARCA:FLRN) (Two New SPDR Bond ETFs Extend Lineup)
  2. SPDR Barclays Capital Short Term Treasury ETF (NYSEARCA:SST)
  3. Global X NASDAQ 500 ETF (QQQV) (Global X Introduces ETFs Of New NASDAQ Indexes)
  4. Global X NASDAQ 400 Mid Cap ETF (QQQM)
  5. PowerShares DB US Inflation ETN (NYSEARCA:INFL) (Inflation/Deflation ETN Pair Available from PowerShares)
  6. PowerShares DB US Deflation ETN (NYSEARCA:DEFL)
  7. Direxion All Cap Insider Sentiment Shares ETF (NYSEARCA:KNOW) (Direxion Launches Two Insider ETFs: KNOW and INSD)
  8. Direxion Large Cap Insider Sentiment Shares ETF (INSD)
  9. Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (NYSEARCA:GREK) (GREK Gets You To The Greek)
  10. RBS NASDAQ 100 Trendpilot ETN (NYSEARCA:TNDQ) (RBS Extends Trendpilot Concept to NASDAQ 100)
  11. Market Vectors Bank and Brokerage ETF (NYSEARCA:RKH)
  12. Market Vectors Biotech ETF (NYSEARCA:BBH)
  13. Market Vectors Oil Services ETF (NYSEARCA:OIH)
  14. Market Vectors Pharmaceutical ETF (NYSEARCA:PPH)
  15. Market Vectors Retail ETF (NYSEARCA:RTH)
  16. Market Vectors Semiconductor ETF (NYSEARCA:SMH)

Product closures/delistings in December (sorted by name):

  1. Guggenheim BulletShares 2011 Corporate Bond ETF (BSCB: Not Your Typical ETF Closure)
  2. HOLDRS B2B Internet (Termination of 17 HOLDRS Marks End of an Era)
  3. HOLDRS Biotech
  4. HOLDRS Broadband
  5. HOLDRS Europe 2001
  6. HOLDRS Internet
  7. HOLDRS Internet Architecture
  8. HOLDRS Internet Infrastructure
  9. HOLDRS Market 2000+
  10. HOLDRS Oil Service
  11. HOLDRS Pharmaceutical
  12. HOLDRS Regional Bank
  13. HOLDRS Retail
  14. HOLDRS Semiconductor
  15. HOLDRS Software
  16. HOLDRS Telecom
  17. HOLDRS Wireless
  18. HOLDRS Utilities
  19. IQ Taiwan Small Cap ETF (Three IndexIQ ETFs To Disappear Today)
  20. IQ Hong Kong Small Cap ETF
  21. IQ Japan Mid Cap ETF
  22. Jefferies | TR/J CRB Global Agriculture Equity Index Fund (Last Day For CRBA and CRBI)
  23. Jefferies | TR/J CRB Global Industrial Metals Equity Index Fund

Product changes in December:

  1. AdvisorShares performed an extreme-makeover of an ETF rather than closing and liquidating the old one and launching a new one. AdvisorShares Mars Hill Global Relative Value (GRV) received a new name, new ticker symbol, new objective, new manager, and new portfolio effective 12/1/11. It is now known as the AdvisorShares Accuvest Global Long Short ETF (NYSEARCA:AGLS).
  2. All Direxion Shares 2x Bull and Bear ETFs converted to 3x leverage on 12/1/11. The change affected ten ETFs.
  3. Guggenheim Enhanced Ultra-Short Bond ETF (NYSEARCA:GSY) became Guggenheim Enhanced Short Duration Bond ETF (GSY) effective 12/5/11.
  4. Global X China Technology Fund (CHIB) changed its name, ticker, underlying index, and listing exchange, becoming the Global X NASDAQ China Technology ETF (NASDAQ:QQQC) effective 12/13/11.
  5. The exchange offer for six HOLDRS into similar new Market Vector ETFs (which was initiated 11/10/11) successfully closed on 12/20/11 with about two-thirds of the available shares/assets transferring.

Announced Product Changes for Coming Months:

  1. Global X announced that February 16, 2012 will be the last day of trading for 8 Global X ETFs (pdf). The closing funds are Global X Russell Emerging Markets Growth (NYSE:EMGX), Global X Russell Emerging Markets Value (NYSE:EMVX), Global X Mexico Small-Cap (MEXS), Global X Oil Equities (NYSE:XOIL), Global X Farming (BARN), Global X Fishing Industry (FISN), Global X Food (EATX), and Global X Waste Management (WSTE).

Disclosure covering writer, editor, publisher, and affiliates: No positions in any of the securities mentioned. No positions in any of the companies or ETF sponsors mentioned. No income, revenue, or other compensation (either directly or indirectly) received from, or on behalf of, any of the companies or ETF sponsors mentioned.

Source: December ETF Stats: 16 New Listings, Closures Set Monthly Record