ETF Watch: State Street To Close 12 Funds

August 04, 2016

Effective at the close of markets on Aug. 24, a dozen of the smallest ETFs in the State Street Global Advisors lineup will cease to trade. The announcement comes on the heels of statements from ProShares and UBS that those firms would be closing a total of 18 products during August.

The funds include mostly international ETFs, but also U.S.-focused fixed-income funds and an actively managed total-market U.S. ETF that made investments based on the market’s risk appetite.

Oddly, some of the funds are fairly substantial, with the SPDR Nuveen Barclays California Municipal Bond ETF (CXA | B-44) having nearly $150 million in assets under management, and four other funds each representing $50 million or more in assets. Usually funds that shut down are much smaller, but given the scope of SSgA’s lineup and the immense size of some of its funds—the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY | A-97) has nearly $200 billionone could also make the argument that it’s all relative.

Still, SSgA, despite having pioneered the ETF space, has closed only a handful of ETFs over the past decade or so. And the list of closures includes some funds that others may see as staples, including the firm’s two largest Japan ETFs and its BRIC ETF, which has $74 million in assets and ranks as the second-largest BRIC ETF.

In its press release announcing the closures, SSgA said that the decisions were made “based on an ongoing review of the SPDR ETF offering and limited market demand.” This makes some sense, as CXA likely appeals mainly to California-based investors who can enjoy the tax benefits of the municipal bonds the fund owns, and certainly the hubbub about the BRIC countries has died down significantly in the last few years.

The full list of funds set to close includes the following:

So far, 41 ETFs have been delisted in 2016. The recent announcements from ProShares, UBS and SSgA will push the total to 71.

Contact Heather Bell at [email protected].

 

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