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Global ETF Assets Setting New Records


Investors are getting more comfortable with exchange traded funds as global assets continued to gather at a record setting pace over November, led by fixed-income interest.

“November’s strong flows demonstrate that investors are attracted to the flexibility ETPs provide to navigate today’s markets,” Dodd Kittsley, Global Head of ETP Research at BlackRock, said in a research note. “Against a backdrop of the U.S. elections and the looming fiscal cliff, investors looked to ETPs for safe-haven exposure in Treasuries, while also moving into US Equities, EM Equities and EM Bonds for higher income exposures.”

In November, global ETPs added $25.0 billion in assets, compared to $11.0 billion in October, with the overall industry adding $218.9 billion year-to-date, the strongest on record. There were 4,747 total ETPs on the global market as of the end of November. [ETF Performance Report: November]

Fixed-income products led the pack as the investment category saw $67.8 billion, or 31% of the total, in flows through November, compared to $50 billion for all of 2011. Top fixed-income areas include Treasuries attracted $2.7 billion – over $1.6 billion came in over a three day period ahead of the elections, emerging market bonds added $1.1 billion and investment grade corporate bonds garnered $1.0 billion.

On the other hand, high-yield fixed-income ETPs lost $40 million. Although, some high-yield assets, such as bank loans, short-duration high yield and emerging market bond ETPs, saw inflows.

On the equities side, emerging market equities saw $5.1 billion, led by $2.2 billion in China exposure. Developed market equities experienced $11.6 billion in net inflows, led by U.S. mid-caps with $4.1 billion. U.S. equities gathered $8.2 billion.

Gold ETPs also pulled in $1.8 billion.

In November, top ETFs by asset inflows include the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Fund (EEM), which saw $2.3 billion in inflows, SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) , which added $1.4 billion, and Vanguard Mid-Cap (VO) , which attracted $1.4 billion.

It is also worth mentioning that the PIMCO Total Return ETF (BOND) , which had $3.76 billion in assets under management, is the second largest new ETF, behind the Huatai-Pinebridge CSI 300 ETF, which trades outside the U.S. and had $3.77 billion in assets.

For more information on ETF asset flows, visit our ETF performance reports category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

Full disclosure: Tom Lydon’s clients own EEM, SPY and BOND.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.