Complete List Of 128 ETF Closures In 2016

by: Ron Rowland

A total of 128 U.S.-listed exchange-traded funds ("ETFs") and exchange-traded notes ("ETNs") had their listings removed in 2016, easily establishing a new ETF closures record. Of the 2,652 U.S. exchange-traded products ("ETPs") launched since 1993, when the industry began, only 1,964 remain, putting the lifetime death toll at 688 (574 ETFs and 114 ETNs). This pushes the mortality rate to 25.9%, up from 23.3% a year ago. More than a quarter of all ETFs and ETNs have failed to survive.

Two additional closure-related records were broken in 2016: (1) the largest closure ever and (2) the most closure-related assets affected in a single year. More than $1.5 billion was residing in the VelocityShares 3x Long Crude ETN (former ticker UWTI) on November 16 when it announced its delisting, surpassing the combined assets of the previous two largest closures. The previous record holder was PowerShares DB Crude Oil Double Long ETN (former ticker DXO), which held $600 million when it closed back in 2009. Calendar year 2016 also produced the third-largest closing ever, the $508 million in the CS X-Links Cushing MLP Infrastructure ETN (former ticker MLPN) in November.

Assets in the 128 ETFs and ETNs closed in 2016 held a record $5.4 billion at the time their closures were announced, which was double the 2015 amount. Granted, owners removed many of those assets between announcement day and liquidation day, but the fact remains that closures impacted a large number of investors.

The ETF mortality rate continues on its relentless upward trend. The total number of closures divided by the total launches was only 7.4% at the end of 2008. Today, just eight years later, that figure has more than tripled to 25.9%, breaking above the 25% threshold for the first time ever with August's record-setting 41 closures. Every new product brought to market is now facing tougher odds than ever before.

Closures affected 32 unique brands with AccuShares, Calamos, Fallah, and MAXIS making a complete exit. Sponsors and brands with the highest closure quantities for the year included State Street SPDRs (17), BlackRock iShares (14), Deutsche Bank (11), and UBS ETRACS (10). SPDRs and iShares are probably the two most recognized ETF brands, indicating that even the "big boys" in the ETF playground believe that pruning is a necessary requirement for healthy growth.

The 128 closures consisted of 99 ETFs and 29 ETNs. As for their strategy implementation approaches, 15 employed active management, 32 used smart-beta indexes, and 81 were based on traditional capitalization-weighted benchmarks. Within our broadly defined categories, the largest closure counts were Global and International (31), Leveraged & Inverse (27), Style & Strategy (23), Fixed Income (22), Sectors (13), Commodity (7), Volatility (4), and Currency (1).

Six of the ETF closures were planned years in advance. When launched, target maturity bond ETFs announce their maturity and liquidation date. Therefore, the four iShares iBonds ETFs and two Guggenheim BulletShares ETFs that matured and liquidated in 2016 are not typical closings.

Another new twist noticed for the first time this year was the concept of "forced delistings" initiated by the stock exchanges. The NYSE delisted the DB Commodity Long ETN (former ticker DPU) after the close on April 15 and DB Base Metals Long ETN (former ticker BDG) after the close on September 16. The reason was these ETNs failed to maintain at least $400,000 in assets. BATS delisted the ProShares CDS North American HY Credit (former ticker TYTE) after the close of trading on May 18 because the ETF had fewer than 50 beneficial owners.

Not all delistings results in liquidation and the return of shareholder money. Four products fall into that category for 2016. The failure of Deutsche Bank to redeem the two commodity ETNs mentioned above did not affect too many shareholders. However, the decision by Credit Suisse to not redeem or otherwise liquidate the VelocityShares 3x Long Crude Oil ETN (former ticker UWTI) and VelocityShares 3x Inverse Crude Oil ETN (former ticker DWTI) is a different matter. The 3x long product held $1.57 billion when the delisting was announced, making it the largest closure in history. The 3x inverse version had $227 million in assets, making it a significant event also.

The average age of funds closing in 2016 was 47.7 months-just short of the 4-year mark, so sponsors are giving these products ample opportunity to succeed. Ages ranged from a low of just 2.4 months for the AccuShares teeter-totter oil funds (former tickers OILU and OILD) to the ripe old age of 119.4 months (almost 10 years) for three WisdomTree ETFs.

The interactive table below listing all 128 closures for 2016 is currently sorted by product name.

ETF and ETN Closures of 2016

# Ticker Name Last Day AUM ($M) A/SB/I Notes:
1 OILD AccuShares S&P GSCI Crude Oil Down (C-corp) 09/08/2016 2.7 I
2 OILU AccuShares S&P GSCI Crude Oil Up (C-corp) 09/08/2016 2.2 I
3 VXDN AccuShares Spot CBOE VIX Down (C-corp) 09/08/2016 0.7 I
4 VXUP AccuShares Spot CBOE VIX Up (C-corp) 09/08/2016 0.8 I
5 EPRO AdvisorShares EquityPro 10/21/2016 16.0 A
6 YPRO AdvisorShares YieldPro 10/24/2016 18.3 A
7 PUTX ALPS Enhanced Put Write Strategy 06/24/2016 2.5 A
8 SLDR ALPS Sector Leaders 03/24/2016 1.1 SB
9 SLOW ALPS Sector Low Volatility 03/24/2016 1.2 SB
10 STXX ALPS STOXX Europe 600 03/24/2016 5.4 I
11 OSMS Barclays OFI SteelPath MLP ETN 06/21/2016 0.6 I
12 CFGE Calamos Focused Growth 08/01/2016 26.0 A
13 RPX Columbia Large Cap Growth 01/28/2016 14.1 A
14 RWG Columbia Select Large Cap Growth 01/28/2016 7.1 A
15 GVT Columbia Select Large Cap Value 01/28/2016 6.7 A
16 WIZE CrowdInvest Wisdom 09/27/2016 2.6 SB
17 CSCB CS X-Links Commodity Benchmark ETN 01/27/2016 1.1 I
18 MLPN CS X-Links Cushing MLP Infrastructure ETN 11/25/2016 508.1 I
19 CSMA CS X-Links Merger Arbitrage ETN 06/10/2016 4.3 SB
20 CVOL C-Tracks Citi Volatility Index TR ETN 05/23/2016 2.4 I
21 BUNT DB 3x German Bund Futures ETN 09/19/2016 21.8 I
22 JGBD DB 3x Inverse Japanese Govt Bond Futures ETN 09/19/2016 28.0 I
23 JGBT DB 3x Japanese Govt Bond Futures ETN 09/19/2016 5.5 I
24 LBND DB 3x Long 25+ Treasury Bond ETN 09/19/2016 11.1 I
25 SBND DB 3x Short 25+ Treasury Bond ETN 09/19/2016 26.7 I
26 BDG DB Base Metals Long ETN 09/16/2016 0.4 I 3,4
27 DPU DB Commodity Long ETN 04/15/2016 0.4 I 3,4
28 BUNL DB German Bund Futures ETN 09/19/2016 14.4 I
29 JGBS DB Inverse Japanese Govt Bond Futures ETN 09/19/2016 12.3 I
30 JGBL DB Japanese Govt Bond Futures ETN 09/19/2016 2.7 I
31 LLDM Direxion Daily FTSE Developed Markets Bull 1.25x 10/07/2016 1.3 I
32 LLEM Direxion Daily FTSE Emerging Markets Bull 1.25x 10/07/2016 1.2 I
33 HEGE Direxion Daily MSCI Europe Currency Hedged Bull 2x 05/20/2016 1.5 I
34 HEGJ Direxion Daily MSCI Japan Currency Hedged Bull 2x 05/20/2016 1.2 I
35 TOTS Direxion Daily Total Market Bear 1x 07/15/2016 2.7 I
36 VSPY Direxion S&P 500 Volatility Response 10/07/2016 8.3 SB
37 VLLV Direxion Value Line Conservative Equity 03/23/2016 1.2 SB
38 VLML Direxion Value Line Mid- and Large-Cap High Dividend 03/23/2016 6.7 SB
39 VLSM Direxion Value Line Small- and Mid-Cap High Dividend 03/23/2016 11.6 SB
40 LSC ELEMENTS S&P Commodity Trends Idr ETN 09/16/2016 27.5 SB
41 SBEU ETFS Diversified-Factor Developed Europe 11/21/2016 1.2 SB
42 SBUS ETFS Diversified-Factor U.S. Large Cap 11/21/2016 7.8 SB
43 WITE ETFS Physical White Metal Basket Shares 03/02/2016 15.7 I
44 MLPL ETRACS 2x Mthly Alerian MLP Infra ETN 01/29/2016 218.9 I 2
45 MLPV ETRACS 2xMonthly Leveraged S&P MLP ETN 01/29/2016 14.5 I 2
46 XVIX ETRACS Daily Long-Short VIX ETN 08/17/2016 13.1 SB
47 DVHI ETRACS Diversified High Income ETN 08/15/2016 23.3 I
48 HOMX ETRACS ISE Exclusively Homebuilders ETN 08/17/2016 22.7 I
49 RWXL ETRACS Mthly Pay 2x DJ Intl Real Est ETN 08/15/2016 12.7 I
50 SPGH ETRACS S&P 500 Gold Hedged Idx ETN 08/17/2016 23.1 I
51 VQTS ETRACS S&P 500 VEQTOR Switch Index ETN 08/17/2016 21.9 SB
52 FMLP ETRACS Wells Fargo MLP Ex-Energy ETN 08/15/2016 15.9 I
53 MLPW ETRACS Wells Fargo MLP Index ETN 08/15/2016 9.4 I
54 FIA Falah Russell-IdealRatings U.S. Large Cap 07/14/2016 1.3 SB
55 CRBQ Global Commodity Equity 03/24/2016 16.2 I
56 CHNB Global X GF China Bond 04/18/2016 22.2 I
57 BSCG Guggenheim BulletShares 2016 Corp Bond 12/29/2016 403.8 I 1
58 BSJG Guggenheim BulletShares 2016 HY Corp Bond 12/29/2016 364.1 I 1
59 EMRE Guggenheim Emerging Markets Real Estate 09/20/2016 2.3 I
60 EWRI Guggenheim Russell 1000 Equal Weight 01/26/2016 74.0 SB
61 HHDG Highland HFR Equity Hedge 04/11/2016 1.9 SB
62 DRVN Highland HFR Event-Driven 04/11/2016 2.5 SB
63 HHFR Highland HFR Global 04/11/2016 2.8 SB
64 HKOR Horizons Korea KOSPI 200 04/29/2016 1.7 I
65 QLTC iShares B - Ca Rated Corporate Bond 08/23/2016 11.3 I
66 QLTB iShares Baa - Ba Rated Corporate Bond 08/23/2016 36.1 I
67 IEIL iShares Enhanced International Large-Cap 08/23/2016 68.2 A
68 IEIS iShares Enhanced International Small-Cap 08/23/2016 19.3 A
69 IELG iShares Enhanced U.S. Large-Cap 08/23/2016 82.0 A
70 IESM iShares Enhanced U.S. Small-Cap 08/23/2016 24.8 A
71 GTIP iShares Global Inflation-Linked Bond 08/23/2016 14.6 I
72 IBDF iShares iBonds Dec 2016 Term Corporate 12/15/2016 65.0 I 1
73 IBCB iShares iBonds Mar 2016 Term Corp ex-Financials 03/29/2016 34.9 I 1
74 IBDA iShares iBonds Mar 2016 Term Corporate 03/29/2016 65.6 I 1
75 IBME iShares iBonds Sep 2016 Term Muni Bond 09/01/2016 121.6 I 1
76 ITIP iShares International Inflation-Linked Bond 08/23/2016 25.0 I
77 EMHZ iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Horizon 08/23/2016 2.9 SB
78 EEML iShares MSCI Emerging Mkts Latin America 08/23/2016 8.3 I
79 ERW Janus Equal Risk Weighted Large Cap 02/24/2016 2.3 SB
80 NKY MAXIS Nikkei 225 03/11/2016 43.7 I
81 RWV Oppenheimer Navellier Overall A-100 Revenue 12/15/2016 7.1 SB
82 PAEU Pacer Autopilot Hedged European 12/22/2016 2.6 I
83 CHNA PowerShares China A-Share 03/18/2016 5.5 A
84 PFEM PowerShares Fundamental Emerging Markets Local Debt 03/18/2016 4.2 SB
85 KBWC PowerShares KBW Capital Markets 03/18/2016 11.2 I
86 KBWI PowerShares KBW Insurance 03/18/2016 14.4 I
87 TYTE ProShares CDS North American HY Credit 05/18/2016 2.0 A 4
88 FUTS ProShares Managed Futures Strategy 03/18/2016 7.1 SB
89 IGS ProShares Short Investment Grade Corporate 08/25/2016 2.6 I
90 UCD ProShares Ultra Bloomberg Commodity 08/25/2016 12.4 I
91 HBU ProShares Ultra Homebuilders & Supplies 08/25/2016 0.9 I
92 IGU ProShares Ultra Investment Grade Corporate 08/25/2016 3.2 I
93 UXJ ProShares Ultra MSCI Pacific Ex-Japan 08/25/2016 1.4 I
94 CMD ProShares UltraShort Bloomberg Commodity 08/25/2016 6.4 I
95 HBZ ProShares UltraShort Homebuilders & Supplies 08/25/2016 0.8 I
96 GDJS ProShares UltraShort Junior Miners 08/25/2016 0.2 I
97 JPX ProShares UltraShort MSCI Pacific ex-Japan 08/25/2016 1.1 I
98 UK Recon Capital FTSE 100 03/10/2016 1.0 I
99 IJNK SPDR Barclays International High Yield Bond 08/24/2016 25.7 I
100 EMCD SPDR BofA Merrill Lynch Emg Mkts Corp Bond 08/24/2016 14.8 I
101 XLFS SPDR Financial Services Select Sector 11/14/2016 140.1 I
102 EMFT SPDR MSCI EM 50 08/24/2016 2.1 I
103 EMBB SPDR MSCI EM Beyond BRIC 08/24/2016 2.6 I
104 HREX SPDR MSCI International Real Estate Currency Hedged 11/14/2016 2.1 I
105 QMEX SPDR MSCI Mexico StrategicFactors 11/14/2016 2.2 SB
106 QKOR SPDR MSCI South Korea StrategicFactors 11/14/2016 2.8 SB
107 QTWN SPDR MSCI Taiwan StrategicFactors 11/14/2016 5.9 SB
108 BABS SPDR Nuveen Barclays Build America Bond 08/24/2016 61.3 I
109 CXA SPDR Nuveen Barclays California Muni Bond 08/24/2016 149.3 I
110 INY SPDR Nuveen Barclays New York Muni Bond 08/24/2016 34.4 I
111 JPP SPDR Russell/Nomura PRIME Japan 08/24/2016 27.7 I
112 JSC SPDR Russell/Nomura Small Cap Japan 08/24/2016 54.1 I
113 BIK SPDR S&P BRIC 40 08/24/2016 73.3 I
114 MDD SPDR S&P International Mid Cap 08/24/2016 49.2 I
115 RORO SPDR SSgA Risk Aware 08/24/2016 2.0 A
116 BITE The Restaurant ETF 12/22/2016 1.4 SB
117 FCFI TrimTabs Intl Free-Cash-Flow 10/31/2016 13.1 SB
118 FBG UBS AG FI Enhanced Big Cap Growth ETN 08/17/2016 151.8 I
119 MES VanEck Vectors Gulf States 10/07/2016 6.9 I
120 IDXJ VanEck Vectors Indonesia Small-Cap 10/07/2016 5.9 I
121 DWTI VelocityShares 3x Inverse Crude ETN 12/08/2016 226.8 I 3
122 UWTI VelocityShares 3x Long Crude ETN 12/08/2016 1,568.5 I 3
123 TONS WisdomTree Coal Fund 09/22/2016 1.1 I
124 CCXE WisdomTree Commodity Country Equity 09/22/2016 7.2 SB
125 CCX WisdomTree Commodity Currency Strategy 09/22/2016 5.0 A
126 DBU WisdomTree Global ex-U.S. Utility 09/22/2016 15.0 SB
127 GNAT WisdomTree Global Natural Resources 09/22/2016 16.9 SB
128 JGBB WisdomTree Japan Interest Rate Strategy 09/22/2016 4.4 SB


Showing 1 to 128 of 128 entries

The A/SB/I column indicates Actively Managed, Smart Beta, or traditional Index. AUM = Assets Under Management (in $ millions) at time closure was announced. Actual amount of assets liquidated will be lower. Notes: (1) reached planned maturity, (2) early termination triggered, (3) delisted but not liquidated, (4) forced delisting. All exchange-traded notes are identified with "ETN" as part of their name description.

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