April’s Unusual ETF Launch/Closure Ratio

April 30, 2018

On this final day of April, it’s hard not to note the month’s large number of closures and relatively small amount of launches. April saw 55 ETFs taken off the market, which blows past the previous record of 42 closures in September 2017, and just a baker’s dozen of new funds launched.

Of course, consider that 50 of those shutdowns were from one issuer. Barclays closed more than half of its existing iPath ETNs midmonth as part of a dramatic revamp of the family.

In addition to those closures, Elkhorn Investments saw its pending acquisition by Veracen fall through, leading to the closure of the firm as well as the two ETFs it was not able to find a home for. Plus, Amplify closed its MLP ETF, and EventShares shuttered its two policy ETFs associated with Democratic and Republican Party initiatives.

First-Quarter Roundup

Although no records were broken for new fund debuts, the first three months of the year saw a brisk pace for launches, with 76 new funds making their debuts. March was a bit thinner than the first two months, with just 14 rollouts, but April slowed even further, with just 13 new funds.

That’s actually a pretty normal number, and only becomes remarkable when matched against the high number of closures during the same month. Usually, launches far outpace the number of shutdowns.

It’s early yet, but another record-breaking year for ETF closures is looking more and more likely. And despite April’s muted numbers, 2018’s year-to-date launches, which total 89 so far, are still ahead of where they were at this time last year.

Contact Heather Bell at [email protected]

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