Van Eck, Merrill Lynch in Agreement Over HOLDRS | ETF Trends

Van Eck Global and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) subsidiary Merrill Lynch have reached a deal in which Van Eck plans to offer investors in six HOLDRS the chance to swap for shares of new exchange traded funds.

Van Eck filed for six sector-specific ETFs with the Securities and Exchange Commission to issue the Merrill-Lynch HOLDRs as ETF products, write Oliver Ludwig and Cinthia Murphy for IndexUniverse. After the transition, the ETFs will maintain their original tickers for “uninterrupted exposure to target industries,” according to Van Eck. The whole transaction will be concluded in the fourth quarter.

The six of the 17 existing HOLDRS that Van Eck is acquiring have a combined $3.65 billion in assets, or around 90% of total assets under the HOLDRS investments.

“This transaction and the expected exchange offer includes HOLDRS with the highest assets and/or trading volume,” commented Adam Phillips, Van Eck’s managing director of ETFs, in the report, “and that, in our opinion, represent the best strategic fit for the Market Vectors suite of ETFs.”