ETF Update: A Slow Start To February

by: SA Editor Carolyn Pairitz


Every week, Seeking Alpha aggregates ETF updates in an effort to alert readers and contributors to changes in the market.

There were 5 ETF launches over the last 3 weeks and 4 closures.

Have a view on something that’s coming up or a new fund? Submit an article.

Welcome back to the SA ETF Update. My goal is to keep Seeking Alpha readers up to date on the ETF universe and to gain some visibility, both for the ETF community and for me as its editor (so users know who to approach with issues, article ideas, to become a contributor, etc.).

Every weekend, or every other weekend (depending on the reader response and submission volumes), we will highlight fund launches and closures for the week, as well as any news items that could impact ETF investors.

Those of you who follow me will have noticed that I took a couple weeks off of ETF Updates to make ETF Trend predictions for 2016:

Taking a broader look at the ETF industry is a great way to gain perspective and see the major changes that are occurring in the market. ETFs are still an incredibly new product to financial professionals, and even more new to individual investors (who are themselves a new arrival to the market). Considering how quickly ETFs have been adopted into investment plans, I am very excited to see how these products will evolve in an increasingly growing and connected marketplace.

Thankfully, the flow of fund launches was more a trickle while I was focused on the big picture. Let's jump in:

Fund launches for the week of January 25th, 2016

  • ProShares launches a dividend masters ETF (1/27): The ProShares MSCI Emerging Market Dividend Growers ETF (BATS:EMDV) "focuses on MSCI Emerging Markets companies that have grown their dividends for at least seven consecutive years-the Dividend Masters," according to the fund's homepage. Emerging market ETFs have been trending down for the last few years, but some might see this drop as a buying opportunity, especially for dividend growth firms. The top countries represented in the fund are China (22.6%), India (18.7%) and South Africa (14.1%).

There were no fund launches for the week of February 1st, 2016

Fund launches for the week of February 8th, 2016

  • UBS revives MLPL and MLPV in 2 series B funds (2/9): The Etracs 2X Monthly Leveraged Long Alerian MLP Infrastructure ETN (NYSEARCA:MLPL) and the Etracs 2x Monthly Leveraged S&P MLP Index ETN (NYSEARCA:MLPV) were redeemed earlier this year, but it looks like UBS wasn't done with these offerings. The Etracs 2xMonthly Leveraged Alerian MLP Infrastructure ETN Series B (NYSEARCA:MLPQ) and the Etracs 2xMonthly Leveraged S&P MLP Index ETN Series B (NYSEARCA:MLPZ) are the newly launched ghosts of MLPL and MLPV, offering essentially the same investment strategies.
  • Credit Suisse launches an Oil ETN (2/9): The Credit Suisse X-Links WTI Crude Oil Index ETN (NYSEARCA:OIIL) provides exposure to the Bloomberg WTI Crude Oil Total Return Subindex and is Credit Suisse's 8th current offering. It is also the only oil-only offering from the commodity-focused issuer. The United States Oil Fund (NYSEARCA:USO) currently dominates this ETF sector, with $3.15 billion in assets under management.
  • Guggenheim brings an active alternative to the Agg to market (2/10): The Guggenheim Total Return Bond ETF (NYSEARCA:GTO) offers an active investment approach to the Barclays Aggregate Index, combining traditional risk analysis with behavioral analysis. "Nearly two-thirds of the Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate Bond Index is composed of low-yielding government or government-related securities. Our investment team's rigorous and specialized credit analysis work to uncover attractive duration and yield in otherwise underappreciated asset classes, such as commercial asset-backed securities [ABS] and collateral loan obligations (CLOs) seeking to deliver strong performance independent of the Barclays Agg," said Scott Minerd, Chairman of Investments and Global CIO for Guggenheim Investments, in a press release.

Fund closures for the weeks of January 25th, February 1st and 8th, 2016

  • Credit Suisse Commodity Benchmark ETN (NYSEARCA:CSCB)
  • Columbia Large Cap Growth ETF (NYSEARCA:RPX)
  • Columbia Select Large Cap Growth ETF (NYSEARCA:RWG)
  • Columbia Select Large Cap Value ETF (NYSEARCA:GVT)

Have any other questions on ETFs or ETNs? Please comment below and I will try to clear things up.

As an author and editor I have found that constructive feedback is the best way to grow. What would you like to see discussed in the future? How can I improve this series to meet reader needs? Please share your thoughts on this first edition of the ETF Update series in the comments section below.

Have a view on something that's coming up or a new fund? Submit an article.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.