Global X, the exchange-traded fund firm known for its niche strategies focused on the emerging markets and on commodities, today launched an equities ETF that’s focused on companies in waste-management industries, again bringing it into competition with New York-based Van Eck.
Indeed, the Global X Waste Management ETF (NYSEArca: WSTE) looks quite a lot like the Market Vectors Environmental Services ETF (NYSEArca: EVX). Global X’s WSTE is based on an index with 28 companies compared with a 22-company benchmark in the case of Van Eck’s EVX. Both indexes hold some of the same companies, including four of the two ETFs’ top-five holdings. The four companies held by both ETFs among their top holdings are Waste Management Inc., Stericycle Inc., Veolia Environment, and Republic Services Inc.
Van Eck’s EVX, for now, is the cheaper of the two environmentally focused ETFs with a 0.55 percent net annual expense ratio, while WSTE costs investors 0.65 percent per year.
WTSE’s launch marks the latest competitive tangle the two New York-based companies find themselves in. For example, they both offer funds canvassing the Andean region of South America and they both offer ETFs that zero in on the nuclear energy industry. While Van Eck remains the bigger of the two firms by far, Global X has been hauling in assets at a quicker pace. In all of 2010, for example, Global X’s assets about quadrupled to almost $1.3 billion, while Van Eck’s climbed by 25 percent to around $20 billion.
More than half WSTE’s portfolio, which concentrates on the waste management, recovery and recycling industries, is in U.S. companies. China and France are in the second and third slots, with almost 15 percent and almost 12 percent, respectively.
Global X has gathered $1.74 billion in assets since it rolled out its first niche fund in February 2009. Some of its more successful funds are the $181 million Global X China Consumer ETF (NYSEArca: CHIQ) and the Global X Uranium ETF (NYSEArca: URA), which has $240 million in assets.
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