PowerShares Plans Financial, REIT ETFs

September 07, 2010

PowerShares plans financial ETFs that, like some of SSgA’s, are also based on KBW indexes.

Invesco PowerShares, the Wheaton, Ill.-based fund sponsor known for its QQQ ETF (NasdaqGM: QQQQ), filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to launch four new funds based on so-called FIRE indexes targeting the financial, insurance and real estate sectors.

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, the New York-based financial services firm sometimes called KBW, is the index provider for the planned products.

The planned funds are:

  • The PowerShares KBW Premium Yield Equity REIT Portfolio (NYSEArca: KBWY)
  • The PowerShares KBW High Dividend Yield Financial Portfolio (NYSEArca: KBWD)
  • The PowerShares KBW Global ex-U.S. Financial Sector Portfolio (NYSEArca: KBWX)
  • The PowerShares KBW Property & Casualty Insurance Portfolio (NYSEArca: KBWP)


Both the REIT and the high-dividend financial funds will track dividend yield-weighted indexes, while the ex-U.S. financial sector fund and the insurance fund will track modified market-cap-weighted indexes. All four funds plan to invest at least 90 percent of net assets in the securities of their underlying indexes.

Head-To-Head With

State Street


With its proposed funds, PowerShares enters an arena dominated by some of the largest fund sponsors in the world, including State Street Global Advisors.

SSgA already offers a line of five FIRE sector funds based on KBW market-cap-weighted indexes: the SPDR KBW Bank ETF (NYSEArca: KBE), the SPDR KBW Capital Markets ETF (NYSEArca: KCE), the SPDR KBW Mortgage Finance ETF (NYSEArca: KME), the SPDR KBW Regional Banking ETF (NYSEArca: KRE) and the SPDR KBW Insurance ETF (NYSEArca: KIE).

Indeed, PowerShares and

State Street

are increasingly battling over the same turf. In July, the trademark holder behind a line of popular State Street S&P 500 sector funds sued PowerShares in federal court, alleging that the ticker symbols for a line of PowerShares funds were close enough to

State Street

’s to cause confusion.

This time, it appears that PowerShares has mostly skirted direct competition with its larger rival. With the exception of the property and casualty insurance fund, KBWP, there’s no direct overlap between PowerShares’ proposed funds and

State Street

’s existing products.

PowerShares didn’t specify expense ratios for the proposed funds in the filing, and the registration won’t take effect until at least 75 days from the filing date.


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