ETFs With The Largest Premiums & Discounts

While the vast majority of ETFs trade close to their net asset values, a handful have strayed far from their NAVs.

Senior ETF Analyst
Reviewed by: Sumit Roy
Edited by: Sumit Roy

Exchange-traded funds typically don't stray far from their net asset values (NAVs). One of the greatest strengths of the ETF structure, the creation/redemption mechanism, makes it so the price of a fund stays close to the value of its underlying assets.

Usually, this process works flawlessly. Out of the nearly 2,000 ETFs on the U.S. market today, 83% of them are trading within 1% of their NAVs, while 94% of them are trading within 2% of their NAVs. For various reasons, the others have larger gaps between their market price and the value of their assets. Sometimes, those gaps are substantial.

New Creations Suspended

Take the DB Commodity Double Long ETN (DYY). The market price for this exchange-traded note is a whopping 97.3% above its NAV. The reason for this is simple: Deutsche Bank suspended creations of the notes indefinitely in 2012. Without the ability to create new units, the mechanism that would normally keep DYY trading close to its NAV is broken, and there's no way to arbitrage-away the massive premium.

It's not unheard of for ETN issuers to suspend creations. It's happened regularly over the years, and is something investors in these products should keep a close eye on.

The iPath Bloomberg Natural Gas Subindex Total Return ETN (GAZ), which has a 10.8% premium, is another ETN where creations were suspended, resulting in a market price well above NAV.

Fortunately, not too many investors own these flawed products. There are 45 exchange-traded products on the market that have suspended creations, but most are tiny, with only a few million dollars in assets each.

Stale Market Price Or NAV

Another reason that investors might see big discrepancies between a product's share price and its NAV is due to lack of trading. For example, the iPath Short Enhanced MSCI Emerging Markets Index ETN (EMSA) last traded in 2015, at a price of $110/share.

Since then, its NAV has dropped to around $57, seemingly creating a premium of 92.7% based on the last market price. But that premium isn't "real." Any new market transactions would likely happen much closer to the NAV; it's just that interest in the $1 million ETN is so low that no trades have taken place in more than a year.


In the case of EMSA, the market price is "stale," while the NAV continually updates, creating a perceived premium. In other cases, the opposite occurs. For funds holding securities that trade in a different time zone, such as international equity ETFs, the NAV may be temporarily stale.

For instance, stocks in the U.K. stop trading at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time, but U.S. stocks and ETFs keep trading until 4:00 p.m. For the iShares MSCI United Kingdom ETF (EWU), which holds a basket of U.K. equities, the NAV will be struck at 12:30 p.m., when U.K. markets close, but EWU will continue to trade for another few hours. In those few hours, the fund's trading price could deviate from its NAV.

Bond ETF Discounts

Of course, deviations from NAV can take place both on the upside, creating a "premium," as well on the downside, creating a "discount." The latter is a bit rarer because it's more unusual to see an issuer suspend redemptions than it is to see it suspend creations.

Still, there are a handful of products trading with sizable discounts, mostly due to inactive trading. The iPath Long Enhanced MSCI Emerging Markets Index ETN (EMLB) and the Barclays Return on Disability ETN (RODI) look like they're trading at discounts of 36.9% and 12.9%, respectively, but that's only because they're so infrequently traded (creating the "stale market price" phenomenon described above).

One larger product trading with a notable discount is the AdvisorShares Peritus High Yield ETF (HYLD). Currently it has a 3.1% discount―not huge, but enough to catch one's eye. Bond ETFs have been known to sometimes trade at discounts to their NAVs due to the difficulty of pricing bonds and the lack of liquidity in some bond markets, especially during times of stress.

A discount in a bond ETF doesn't mean a product is bad per se; it's simply a reflection of the liquidity conditions of the fund's underlying bond portfolio.

For investors in bond ETFs―and exchange-traded products of all stripes―large discounts and premiums are a caution sign. In those cases, it's a good idea to take a look under the hood to see if there's any issues with a product, such as a suspension of the creation/redemption mechanism, a lack of liquidity or anything else that may impact returns.

For a list of the 10 ETFs that currently have the largest premiums and discounts, see the tables below: 


DYYDB Commodity Double Long ETN97.3%
EMSAiPath Short Enhanced MSCI Emerging Markets Index ETN92.2%
GAZDB Commodity Double Long ETN23.9%
HAKDDirexion Daily Cyber Security & IT Bear 2X Shares9.0%
SBViPath Pure Beta S&P GSCI-Weighted ETN6.3%


EMLBiPath Long Enhanced MSCI Emerging Markets Index ETN-36.8%
RODIBarclays Return on Disability ETN-14.2%
HEVYiPath Pure Beta Industrial Metals ETN-6.3%
DBSEDeutsche X-Trackers MSCI Southern Europe Hedged Equity ETF-5.6%
EEMOPowerShares S&P Emerging Markets Momentum Portfolio-5.2%


Contact Sumit Roy at [email protected]


Sumit Roy is the senior ETF analyst for, where he has worked for 13 years. He creates a variety of content for the platform, including news articles, analysis pieces, videos and podcasts.

Before joining, Sumit was the managing editor and commodities analyst for Hard Assets Investor. In those roles, he was responsible for most of the operations of HAI, a website dedicated to education about commodities investing.

Though he still closely follows the commodities beat, Sumit covers a much broader assortment of topics for, with a particular focus on stock and bond exchange-traded funds.

He is the host of’s Talk ETFs, a popular video series that features weekly interviews with thought leaders in the ETF industry. Sumit is also co-host of Exchange Traded Fridays,’s weekly podcast series.

He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he enjoys climbing the city’s steep hills, playing chess and snowboarding in Lake Tahoe.