Citing "huge demand from institutional and private investors," UBS Asset Management extended the listing for its FTSE 100 exchange-traded fund (ETF) onto the cross-border "virt-x" stock exchange. The ETF was previously listed on the Swiss Exchange, where it traded in Swiss francs, and the German Xetra exchange, where it traded in pounds sterling. On virt-x, the fund will be priced in pounds sterling, and will be more easily accessible to investors across Europe (and beyond). The prime target, clearly, will be London-based traders, given the fund's currency choice and virt-x's strong ties to London.
The FTSE 100 is the mega-cap index for U.K. equities, capturing the top 100 companies in the UK market, which together represent 80 percent of that market's total capitalization.
Despite the "huge demand,"UBS has been working to spark interest in the $24 million fund for months. In November 2005, UBS changed the bogie for the fund from the Dow Jones UK Titans 50 to the FTSE 100. The company said the FTSE 100 offered fuller coverage of the UK market, along with more liquid trading and tighter spreads, thanks to the fact that there are futures contracts tied to the FTSE 100 Index.