Exchange-traded products hits $10 billion mark

Exchange traded products (ETP) have more than doubled what they were two years ago, hitting $10 billion in funds under management (FUM).

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) announced the milestone, saying the growth is due to increased awareness of the product group by both retail and institutional investors.

It is also due to an increase in product offering such as international exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which have performed well.

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"Over the past two years, the number of ETFs available has more than doubled — increasing from 40 to 94," SPDR ETFs Australia head Amanda Skelly told Super Review.

"Investors can now access all the major types, from Australian and international shares to listed property, commodities and fixed income."

They are also being increasingly adopted by investors, particularly self-managed super fund investors and financial advisers.

FUM for ETPs stood at $4.9 billion in December 2011.

Growth in the equity market activity and the recent dip in the Australian dollar have also had a positive effect on ETPs that provide international exposure. iShares had the largest FUM with $3.61 billion, followed by StateStreet at $3.27 billion. Vanguard was third at $1.4997 billion.

The commodity sector in the ETP category was the only area that performed weakly. This was due to a 28 per cent drop in gold prices, which fell from $US1675 to $US1205 an ounce during last year.

"Commodities seem to be the most universally unloved asset class, experiencing outflows for most of the year both in Australian and more broadly across the global ETF industry," Skelly said.

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