ETF Trends
ETF Trends

The global exchange traded products industry has hit another major milestone. Exchange traded products, including exchange traded funds (ETFs) and exchange traded notes (ETNs) topped $3 trillion in combined assets under management at the end of May.

Global exchange traded products had a combined $3.015 trillion in assets under management at the end of last month, according to ETFGI, a London-based ETF research firm. There were nearly 5,760 ETPs with 11,117 listings, from 256 providers listed on 62 exchanges in 51 countries, notes ETGI.

“Our forecast was that assets would break through US$3 trillion by the middle of 2015. It took the global ETF/ETP industry 19 years to reach US$1 trillion in assets under management, 23 years to reach US$2 trillion in AUM and just 25 years to reach US$3 trillion in AUM. The increasing rate of asset growth illustrates how ETFs have been embraced as an investment solution by institutional investors, financial advisors and retail investors around the world,” according to Deborah Fuhr, managing partner of ETFGI.

The pace of ETF industry continues to be staggering as it was December that U.S. ETFs topped the $2 trillion milestone for the first time. [U.S. ETFs hit $2 Trillion in AUM]

Last month, global ETP flows reached $18.3 billion. In the U.S., international ETFs have been the primary drivers of asset growth this year. The theme of inflows to international ETFs has prominent throughout 2015. Led by the WisdomTree Europe Hedged Equity Fund (NYSEArca: HEDJ) and the Deutsche X-trackers MSCI EAFE Hedged Equity ETF (NYSEArca: DBEF), seven of this year’s top 10 asset-gathering ETFs are international developed market funds. [April ETF Flows: Stocks top Bonds]

Cementing the exponential growth of currency hedged ETFs, including HEDJ and DBEF, four of this year’s top 10 asset-gathering ETFs are currency hedged funds. The other two are the WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund (NYSEArca: DXJ) and the iShares Currency Hedged MSCI EAFE ETF (NYSEArca: HEFA). [Momentum for Currency Hedged ETFs]

“Year-to-date products listed in Europe gathered US$39.2 billion which is significantly more than the prior record of US$26.4 billion gathered over the same period in 2014. ETFs/ETPs listed in Japan gathered US$14.5 billion, which is slightly higher than the US$14.3 billion gathered during the same period in 2014, and ETFs/ETPs listed in Canada gathered US$5.6 Bn which is slightly higher than the prior record of US$5.5 Bn gathered in the first 5 months of 2012,” according to ETFGI.

In May, the top issuer for new assets added was Vanguard with $5.2 billion. Huatai-PB added $3.4 billion in new assets while WisdomTree (NasdaqGS: WETF) and First Trust tacked on $1.7 billion and $1.6 billion in new assets, respectively.

Chart Courtesy: ETFGI