Combined assets under management at the world’s exchange traded products rose to a record $2.64 at the end of the second quarter, but the bulk of those assets, over $1.8 trillion, are concentrated in U.S. ETFs and exchange traded notes (ETNs).
The European ETP market is looking to emulate the success of the U.S. “Regulatory changes, such as the UK’s Retail Distribution Review, are making the low cost and transparency of ETFs attractive to retail investors,” reports eFinancial News.
Europe-listed ETFs pulled in $32 billion in the first six months of the year, less than half the $74 billion gained by their U.S. counterparts, but that “growth rate that would take total assets to more than half a trillion dollars by year-end if it persists,” according to Funds Europe.
“So far this year, equity ETPs accounted for $18.5 billion of the net flows in Europe, compared with $12.3 billion for fixed income products and a net outflow of $427 million for commodity products,” Funds Europe reported.
Europe’s ETF market already shares one thing in common: Dominance by a small number of players. While BlackRock’s (NYSE: BLK) iShares, State Street’s (NYSE: STT) State Street Global Advisors and Vanguard hold the bulk of U.S. ETF assets, in Europe it is BlackRock, Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DB) and Societe Generale’s Lyxor unit. [Assets Growing in European ETF Market]
There are ways Europe can enhance the growth of its ETF market, including changing the perception of a lack of liquidity. Due to the fact that most ETF trades in European markets take place over the counter, there is a perceived lack of liquidity, according to eFinancial News. Education, as it still is in the U.S., is also pivotal to the growth of ETFs in Europe.