iShares Wins 2015 Race For Global ETF Inflows
Last year was another banner year for inflows to exchange traded funds and that was music to the ears of BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK), the world's larges asset manager and the biggest issuer of ETFs. New York-based BlackRock garnered $130 billion of the $347 billion that flowed into exchange traded products last year.
The company broke inflows records in both the U.S. and Europe, the world's two largest ETF markets. According to a statement out Monday, inflows to U.S.-listed iShares ETFs surged to $97 billion last year from $82 billion in 2014. In Europe, iShares' inflows rose to $34 billion from $20 billion in 2014 as the issuer captured 42 percent of flows in both markets.
“Despite lackluster equity markets in 2015, the ETF industry set a new growth record of $347bn. Institutional and retail investors are using ETFs more and more, whether as tools to express a view on almost any financial market, or for long-term core investments,” said Global Head of iShares Mark Wiedman in the statement.
In the U.S., iShares had five of last year's top 10 asset-gathering ETFs. The next closest issuer was Vanguard, the second-largest U.S. ETF issuer, with three. Despite concerns pertaining to the Federal Reserve's interest rate policy, investors kept pouring money into bond ETFs last year and iShares benefited from that trend.
“Bond ETFs had an exceptionally strong 2015, growing at 22% organic growth rate. Bond ETFs enable retail and institutional investors to access the bond markets at known, transparent prices and with impressive liquidity. iShares won $50bn globally, 54% of all new flows into bond ETFs. During quiet times and volatile times in 2015, iShares bond ETFs performed as clients have come to expect,” said Wiedman.
The $30.5 billion iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (NYSE: AGG), the largest U.S bond ETF, was last year's top asset-gathering fixed income ETF with inflows of $7.77 billion. That total was exceeded by just four other ETFs. The iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (NYSE: LQD) added more than $5.7 billion in new assets in 2015, making it the second-best bond ETF in terms of inflows and the tenth-best overall.
Confirming that investors were partial to international equity ETFs last year over U.S. Equivalents, three iShares international stock funds were among the top 10 asset-gathering ETFs. That trio is comprised of the iShares MSCI EAFE ETF (NYSE: EFA), iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF (NYSE: IEFA) and the iShares MSCI Eurozone ETF (NYSE: EZU).
In November, iShares said lowered the fees on seven of its core ETFs, bringing some of the annual expense ratios on those funds to as low as 0.03 percent per year. That works out to be a mere $3 for every $10,000 invested.
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