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May ETF Flows: Fear Returns As Pimco’s MINT Shines

May ETF Flows: Fear Returns As Pimco’s MINT Shines

Related ETFs: GLD | EFA | EEM | VWO | SPY | DIA | IWM | MINT

Fear returned to financial markets in May, as exchange-traded fund investors fled riskier assets and piled into safer havens such as gold and, notably, Pimco’s money-market proxy ETF, “MINT,” which added nearly $600 million and finally put the biggest bond-fund manager in the world on the ETF map, according to data compiled by

The single-biggest winning fund was the State Street Global Advisors SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEArca: GLD), which added $4.22 billion in assets, bringing the total to $49.21 billion, as fiscal problems in the eurozone disrupted some of the cautious optimism that had been growing among investors. The so-called flash crash on May 6 also rattled investors’ nerves and fueled the flight-to-safety trade.

May’s surprise story was Pimco’s Enhanced Short Maturity Strategy Fund (NYSEArca: MINT), an actively managed fund that hauled in $596.4 million in new assets. That was the lion’s share of the Newport Beach, Calif.-based firm’s $622 million in new ETF assets, and helped bring Pimco’s total ETF assets under management to $1.55 billion, a nearly 50 percent increase over April’s total.

Bookending the top 10 losing funds last month were the PowerShares QQQ (NYSEArca: QQQQ), the Nasdaq 100 ETF, which suffered worst-in-class outflows of $2.36 billion; and SSgA’s Dow Diamonds SPDR ETF (NYSEArca: DIA) which was No. 10 in redemptions at $333.8 million. The Nasdaq fund now has $18.42 billion in assets, while DIA has $8.05 billion. In the middle, investors fled ETFs tracking volatility and growth.

Biggest Losers ($, Millions)

Ticker Name Issuer May Flows AUM at 5/31/2010 May Turnover
QQQQ PowerShares QQQ Invesco PowerShares -2,363.28 18,415.74 142,968.15
VXX iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN Barclays Capital -1,030.67 1,110.64 23,927.93
VNQ Vanguard REIT Vanguard -567.86 5,344.32 4,358.68
VXZ iPath S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures ETN Barclays Capital -535.89 635.70 1,293.66
IJK iShares S&P Mid Cap 400 Growth BlackRock -397.07 2,330.25 1,127.66
MDY SPDR S&P MidCap 400 SSgA -393.04 8,684.00 17,705.78
FAZ Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3x Direxion -357.76 939.43 29,420.73
UUP PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish Invesco PowerShares -342.81 1,126.78 3,148.30
IVW iShares S&P 500 Growth BlackRock -337.90 4,843.33 1,593.20
DIA Dow Diamonds SSgA -333.83 8,049.39 45,230.11

iShares Still Rules The Roost

MINT’s strong showing almost single-handedly pushed Pimco up to become the 15th-biggest U.S. ETF firm from 19th-biggest last month.

As you would expect, most of the top places on the league tables were unchanged in May. While BlackRock, parent of iShares, saw redemptions of $1.28 billion in May, it still stood atop the ETF world with $368.24 billion in assets.

SSgA held on to its No. 2 spot, adding $6.03 billion, most of it from its gold fund GLD. Its assets totaled $195.01 billion at the end of last month.

Vanguard again rounded out the top three, with $2.49 billion in new assets, bringing its total to $103.06 billion.


Top Gainers ($, Millions)

Ticker Name Issuer May Flows AUM at 5/31/2010 May Turnover
GLD SPDR Gold SSgA 4,218.83 49,205.77 61,010.91
SPY SPDR S&P 500 SSgA 2,418.60 70,632.17 869,462.45
VWO Vanguard Emerging Markets Vanguard 2,000.25 23,943.14 18,175.06
EEM iShares MSCI Emerging Markets BlackRock 970.73 33,207.34 106,092.35
GDX Market Vectors Gold Miners Van Eck 869.11 7,177.27 16,975.52
USO United States Oil US Commodities Funds 779.11 2,147.43 14,184.81
FAS Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3x Direxion 712.86 1,450.45 37,920.28
TBT ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury ProShares 627.22 5,160.00 12,609.40
MINT PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Strategy PIMCO 596.43 774.23 113.48
SHY iShares Barclays 1-3 Year Treasury Bond BlackRock 543.98 8,394.92 2,748.69


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