FlexShares Could Introduce International Infrastructure ETF

Northern Trust’s ETF unit has filed plans with the Securities and Exchange Commission to possibly introduce the FlexShares Global Infrastructure Fund. The filing did not include a ticker or expense ratio for the new ETF, indicating the fund’s debut is not imminent.

“Infrastructure assets are defined by the index provider as the physical structures and networks upon which the operation, growth and development of a community depends, and include water, sewer, and energy utilities; transportation, data and communication networks or facilities; health care facilities, government accommodations, and other public-service facilities; and shipping,” according to the filing.

Under normal circumstances, the fund will invest at least 80% of its total assets in American depositary receipts and global depositary receipts. Should FlexShares proceed with listing its global infrastructure product, the new ETF will face competition from several well-established products. [Global Infrastructure ETF With a 4% Yield]

The iShares Global Infrastructure ETF (NYSEArca: IGF) is nearly six years old and has $452.6 million in assets under management while the SPDR S&P Global Infrastructure ETF (NYSEArca: GII) is six-and-half years old. The PowerShares Emerging Markets Infrastructure Portfolio (NYSEArca: PXR) is nearly five years old and has $79.4 million in assets under management.

Although FlexShares only sponsors 13 ETFs at the moment, the firm has been prolific at gathering assets with nearly $5.4 billion, according to Index Universe data.

If the global infrastructure fund debuts this year, it will be the fourth new ETF introduced by FlexShares in 2013. Earlier this year, the firm introduced three international dividend ETFs, including the FlexShares International Quality Dividend Dynamic Index Fund (NYSEArca: IQDY). The largest FlexShares ETF is the FlexShares Morningstar Global Upstream Natural Resources Index ETF (NYSEArca: GUNR), which has over $2.3 billion in assets.