Which exchange-traded products were best sellers in Q1?

The exchange traded products industry gathered net new assets of $67.3bn during the first quarter of 2012, making it the best start to the year ever for the industry.

BlackRock’s latest ETP Landscape report showed net inflows increased by 50% on the previous quarter when net new assets stood at $44.8bn. The figure for Q1 is also 57% higher than the $42.8bn of inflows recorded during the same period in 2011.

Investor interest in fixed income ETPs also hit new highs during the first three months of the year. The sector attracted inflows of $19.5bn, eclipsing the previous quarterly record of $14.7bn set in Q4 2011. Fixed income accounted for 29% of all inflows into ETPs globally.

Investment grade and high yield corporate bonds were the top picks, which together accounted for 85% or $16.5bn of total fixed income inflows.

Emerging markets equity products attracted net new assets of $13.7bn for the quarter, but flows varied widely from month to month. Emerging market ETPs lost momentum during March, with outflows of $1bn, in contrast to the significant inflows of $14.6bn posted during January and February.

The majority of outflows came from single country ETPs, such as those offering access to individual countries including: Taiwan, China, Brazil, Mexico and South Korea.

Managing director of BlackRock’s iShares distribution, Jennifer Grancio, said: “The first quarter of 2012 was very strong for the global ETP industry and global financial markets. Better-than-expected economic figures enticed investors back into the market and encouraged them to consider risk assets.

“However, despite improvements in the global economic outlook, there is still a degree of volatility and uncertainty around issues such as the eurozone and oil prices, which will continue to colour investor sentiment in the months to come.”


This article was first published on Investment Week

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