December 15, 2010

Claymore Changes Name To Guggenheim
Claymore Securities Inc. changed its name to Guggenheim Funds Distributors Inc. in the latest developments following Claymore’s acquisition by Guggenheim last October. The company also changed the names of most of its ETFs to include the Guggenheim name.

The renamed Claymore business will continue to support the current product lineup of ETFs, unit investment trusts and closed-end funds, and their respective strategies and investment policies won’t change, Guggenheim said in a press release.

The renamed ETFs will retain their existing ticker symbols.

iShares Launches 3 Emerging Market ETFs
iShares, the world’s biggest ETF company, launched three targeted emerging markets funds to its lineup in September, adding competition to what has become the hottest asset class in the investment universe.

The funds include the following:

  • iShares MSCI Brazil Small Cap Index Fund (NYSE Arca: EWZS)
  • iShares MSCI China Small Cap Index Fund (NYSE Arca: ECNS)
  • iShares MSCI Philippines Investable Market Index Fund (NYSE Arca: EPHE)

Emerging markets have become increasingly popular among investors since the 2008-2009 global stock market crash. While the developed world is mired in sluggish growth, developing countries are growing.

iShares is charging annual expense ratios of 0.65 percent on all three funds.

Credit Suisse Debuts Merger Arb ETN
Credit Suisse, the Switzerland-based investment bank and asset manager, rolled out an ETN in early October that attempts to profit from merger activity.

The Credit Suisse Merger Arbitrage Liquid Index ETN (NYSE Arca: CSMA) aims to capture the spread between the price at which the stock of a target company trades after a proposed acquisition is announced, and the price which the acquiring company has proposed to pay for the target.

The ETN is based on an index that uses a quantitative methodology to track a dynamic basket of securities held as long or short positions and cash. Its holdings will be weighted in accordance with certain rules to include publicly announced merger and acquisition transactions that meet certain qualifying conditions.

The ETN has an annual expense ratio of 0.55 percent.

iShares Chip ETF Gets New Name And Index
iShares changed the index and name of its S&P North American Technology - Semiconductors Index Fund (NYSE Arca: IGW) and also shifted its primary listing to Nasdaq, effective Oct. 15.

The ETF’s new underlying benchmark is the PHLX Semiconductor Sector Index, known as “SOX”; it’s been renamed as the iShares PHLX SOX Semiconductor Sector Index Fund. Its new ticker is “SOXX,” and it has shifted to the Nasdaq from the New York Stock Exchange’s Arca platform.

iShares said in a press release that the changes are aimed at attracting more investors to the microchip fund, which had an industry-leading $243.6 million under management.

Although leveraged and inverse-leveraged ETFs that track the SOX index are available, iShares’ new SOXX fund will become the first single-exposure, long-only SOX-based ETF.

iShares said that investors who want to remain in its semiconductor sector fund needn’t take any action in connection with the changes.

iShares, JP Morgan In Race To Launch Copper ETF
In late October, two well-known firms filed for physical copper ETFs.

The first registered product was the J.P. Morgan Physical Copper Shares ETF. According to the filing, its investment objective “is for the shares to reflect the performance of the price of Physical Copper Grade A,” less expenses. The ETF is the only one that J.P. Morgan has in registration, and the firm has no listed ETFs.

A few days later, iShares filed for a similar product. The price of iShares Copper Trust shares will be based on settlement prices of the London Metals Exchange, the filing said. The copper will be stored in warehouses at locations in the United States or in other places if it has approval from the trustee and the sponsor, the paperwork said.

The only existing exchange-traded product similar to the proposed funds is the iPath Dow Jones-UBS Copper Subindex Total Return ETN (NYSE Arca: JJC), a debt instrument that tracks Comex copper futures.

Copper has been seeing increasing demand, and its usage is looked at as a bellwether for the global economy.

Neither filing specified a ticker symbol or an expense ratio.

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