Active ETF Issuers Eye French Listings Following Rule Change

Some French platforms ‘were not ready’ for the new listings

Jamie_Gordon
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Reviewed by: Ron Day
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Edited by: etf.com Staff

Recent overhauls by French regulators mark the beginning of a longer-term string of active ETF listings on Euronext Paris, according to asset managers.

After being the final major exchange in Europe to not allow listings of active ETFs, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) updated its rules at the end of March to enable listings of the products on the Paris boerse.

Lorraine Sereyjol-Garros, head of development for ETF and index funds at BNP Paribas Asset Management—one of the issuers engaging with the AMF and French Treasury on the rule change—said the change is “good news” for the industry and will “definitely” motivate her firm to expand its active ETF range.

“It is good news for the French industry, it has been expected for some time,” Sereyjol-Garros said. “From a client perspective, it will make access to the ETFs easier for retail investors and distributors in France that only trade on the local exchange.

“From our discussions with local distributors, there is some appetite for active ETFs.”

BNP Paribas and the Rule Change

ETF Stream revealed BNPP AM launched its first active ETFs—the BNP Paribas Easy Sustainable EUR Corporate Bond UCITS ETF (BJLN) and BNP Paribas Easy Sustainable EUR Government Bond UCITS ETF (BJLM)—a month before the AMF rule change, with the two products among the first active ETFs to list on Euronext Paris.

Sereyjol-Garros told attendees at a recent ETFGI event the French asset manager also plans to launch active ETFs for alpha generation as well as ESG goals.

“Even if it will always be ESG, it will be active on the financial side and not just the ESG side,” she said.

Alongside BNPP AM, AXA Investment Managers also reacted to the rule changes by listing the AXA IM ACT Biodiversity Equity UCITS ETF (ABIT), AXA IM ACT Climate Equity UCITS ETF (ACLU), AXA IM Euro Credit PAB UCITS ETF (AIPE), AXA IM USD Credit PAB UCITS ETF (AIPU) and AXA IM US High Yield Opportunities UCITS ETF (AHYU) on Euronext Paris.

Responding, Brieuc Louchard, head of ETF capital markets at AXA IM, said: “Paris was the last European stock exchange not to allow active ETFs to be listed. Now this anomaly has changed, the Paris financial centre will be able to promote innovations on the French market.”

Europe’s largest issuer of active ETFs, JP Morgan Asset Management, supported the rule change but did not confirm plans to launch its suite of products in France.

JPMAM head of ETF distribution EMEA Travis Spence commented: "With active ETFs continuing to be a key driver of ETF adoption in Europe, the evolution of AMF’s stance on active ETF listings in France is positive news for investors seeking new solutions. It should also be supportive of future market growth.”

However, as with any evolution, there are teething issues—in this case some French platforms “were not ready” to register active ETFs following the AMF rule change, Sereyjol-Garros warned.

“It is new for them so they need to adapt. On platform, investors normally select an index than a product so they need to explain what is behind the products.

“Maybe there will be some time to adapt, but in one or two years, they should be offered on all the platforms.”

This article originally appeared in etf.com's sister publication ETF Stream at Active ETF issuers eye French listings following rule change (etfstream.com) 

Jamie started at ETF Stream as a reporter in January 2021. Previously, he was a senior journalist at the UK Investor Magazine, Investment Observer, UK Startup Magazine and UK Property Journal. He holds an undergraduate degree in politics and international relations, and a postgraduate degree in ethics.