PowerShares Looks To Europe

October 09, 2007

PowerShares eyes Europe as the next obvious step.

According to a recent Fund Action article, PowerShares will soon be headed overseas. The exchange-traded fund (ETF) provider plans to start launching its funds in the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy by November.

According to Fund Action, the firm's intentions to expand internationally were one of the reasons it was sold to INVESCO, which has global distribution capabilities. It looks like PowerShares is serious about competing with the likes of State Street Global Advisors (SSgA) and Barclays Global Investors (BGI), both of which operate in the U.S. and Europe. SSgA has just 13 ETFs trading in Europe with less than $3 billion in assets; it is dwarfed by BGI, which has more than 130 ETFs and $55 billion in assets.

So far, Fund Action says PowerShares is expecting to launch ETFs based on the fundamentally weighted FTSE RAFI indexes covering Italy, the U.K., Europe and Europe's small/midsize segment. It also expects to launch "Dynamic" ETFs, which are based on quantitative indexes, covering the U.K. and the global region. PowerShares offers broad families of ETFs under those two index names in the U.S. The firm also has a number of other ETFs planned for European markets, including some of its stand-alone specialty-sector ETFs.

PowerShares Managing Director John Southard told Fund Action that, after the six remaining funds slated to launch during the remainder of the year are rolled out, the firm's frenzied pace of launches will settle down. With a large family of ETFs already in the marketplace, PowerShares will turn its attention to building assets in its existing funds, Southard said, and new funds will be introduced more strategically.

PowerShares is second only to BGI in the U.S. as far as numbers of fund listings go, with about 100 funds. But with total assets in the area of $35 billion, its entire fund lineup could be swallowed up by the larger funds in the industry like EFA or SPDR. And don't forget that PowerShares manages the QQQQ, so that means that more than $20 billion of its assets under management are located in one fund. That leaves roughly $15 billion in assets among the remaining 99 funds, or about $150 million per fund.

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