ETF Launches, Closures Outpacing 2017

The industry seems to have hit a new level of maturity.
Reviewed by: Staff
Edited by: Staff

With the first nine months of the year behind us, it looks like the ETF industry is outpacing itself in more ways than one compared with last year. Launches and closures are both up year-to-date relative to 2017.

The growth is probably the most dramatic with regard to closures. In 2017, a record-breaking 138 ETF shutdowns took place. This year, the numbers are dramatically different, helped by the shuttering of 50 Barclays iPath ETNs in April. At this time last year, there had been 110 ETF closures; this year, we’ve already seen at least 132 ETF shutdowns, just six away from last year’s record with a full quarter left to go on the year.

In other words, we are almost certainly going to see the ETF industry break another record by the end of 2018.

With launches, the growth is less pronounced, but still noticeable. We’ve already seen 189 ETFs launch in the first nine months of the year, compared with 169 rollouts over the same time period last year. The total number of launches last year numbered 275, so despite the rapid pace, we still have a ways to go to match last year—and even further if 2018 is to break 2011’s record of more than 300 ETF launches.

The elevated level of closures paired with the increased rate of launches suggests the ETF industry is hitting a new level of maturity.

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