EUROPE - iShares, the range of exchange traded funds (ETFs) managed by Barclays Global Investors, is to close its nine sector funds after they failed to attract investor interest.
The sector funds were first launched in 2000.
Lee Kranefuss, director of iShares, said: “Sector funds, generally, are just not a priority for European buyers of ETFs – there is a much bigger appetite for ETFs based on the core equity and bond indices and these ETFs continue to see phenomenal growth.
“We have therefore taken the decision to close the sector funds because we firmly believe it is in shareholders’ best interests. The ETF market in Europe has seen exponential growth in a relatively short period of time, and as investors' demands change we will realign our product line accordingly.”
The European sector series, based on FTSE indices, will close on September 15. They included exposure to TMT stocks, technology, media, banks, pharmaceuticals and bio-techs, utilities, consumer cyclicals, consumer non-cyclicals, oil and gas.
iShares said that it now intends to focus on its core broad market set in Europe, with additional bond and equity ETFs across UK, US and European markets planned.
Kranefuss added that iShares plans to develop a FTSE250 fund and additional fixed income funds, including an iBoxx Sterling product.
“iShares is fully committed to the expansion of the core broad market product set in the European ETF market. We have already launched ETFs in Italy and Germany this year and launched our first bond ETFs in Europe,” he said.
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