London is calling for the reign of the exchange traded fund (ETF) industry, but the struggle will be long and uphill, say analysts.

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) is aiming at becoming the number one ETF market, but they’ve got some formidable challengers, including the United States and other European rivals.

The total value of the ETFs traded  on the LSE last year was $20.8 billion, an 82% increase from 2006. Tara Loader Wilkenson for Financial News reports that the London exchange gained ground after the U.K. government did away with a stamp duty levied on non-resident ETFs at the end of 2006, which had deterred the funds from listing before.

As the popularity of ETFs grows, they’ll begin appearing on more and more exchanges the world over. The Middle East wants ETFs, Japan has made it easier to list them and the Tokyo Stock Exchange says it wants to quintuple its ETF listings before the end of next year.

As for the United States, at the end of last month, there were 703 exchange traded products available, with a whole lot more in the pipeline.

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The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.