BGI Report: ETF Assets Swell During Summer

September 04, 2009

Global ETF assets hit all-time high this summer as small-caps and REITs soar.


Global exchange-traded fund assets hit an all-time high this summer, propelled by outperformance in the small-cap and real estate sectors, according to a new report by iShares.

At the end of June, total ETF assets under management reached $862 billion, 7% higher than the previous record of $805 billion set in April 2008. Those results were compounded by an all-time high of $582 billion in U.S. assets under management.

Since the beginning of the third quarter, iShares Russell 2000 Index (NYSEArca: IWM) has risen 10%, while iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate (NYSEArca: IYR) has surged 18.5%. Value ETF iShares S&P 500 Index (NYSEArca: IVV) has climbed 7.6% in the same period.

“Volatile markets have … prompted investors to reorganize their portfolios, migrating to ETFs,” said Michael Latham, iShares managing director, in a statement. “Five of the 10 most actively traded U.S. equities in June were exchange-traded products.”

Among other industry sectors doing well, iShares said that its industrials-focused iShares S&P Global Industrial Index (NYSEArca: EXI), and the iShares iBoxx High Yield Corporate Bond Fund (NYSEArca: HYG) also saw big inflows of capital in the summer.

EXI is extremely closely correlated to the S&P 500 index, while HYG tends to act more defensively to equity price movements.

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