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Friday, May 9, 2008

ALPS Teams with Cohen & Steers for ETF

by: Armie Margaret Lee

ALPS Advisers and Cohen & Steers have rolled out a global real estate ETF. The Cohen & Steers Global Realty Majors ETF is advised by ALPS, with the index provided by Cohen & Steers.

Company Press Release

New York, May 9, 2008—ALPS Holdings, Inc. and Cohen & Steers today announced the launch of a global real estate exchange-traded fund (ETF) that offers investors an opportunity to participate in the income streams and diversification benefits of global real estate securities. ALPS is a leading provider of outsourced and advisory solutions to the investment management industry, and Cohen & Steers is a manager of income-oriented equity portfolios specializing in U.S. and international real estate securities, large cap value stocks, utilities and listed infrastructure securities, and preferred securities.

The new Cohen & Steers Global Realty Majors ETF (AMEX: GRI), which began trading today, is advised by ALPS Advisers, Inc. The index is provided by Cohen & Steers. The ETF seeks investment results that correspond to the performance of the Cohen & Steers Global Realty Majors Index, which comprises securities of companies that have been evaluated on management strength and track record, market position, and the composition and quality of their real estate portfolios, among other factors.

Cohen & Steers Global Realty Majors ETF targets 75 industry-leading real estate companies from an initial universe of 500 that are located in developed markets across North America, Asia Pacific and Europe. The companies are selected through a bottom-up process that uses quantitative screens and qualitative analysis to identify those real estate companies that are best positioned to gain from the securitization of global real estate. This gives investors exposure to asset class diversification, an opportunity to participate in the global growth of real estate securities and direct participation in local economic growth.

Incorporating real estate securities into an ETF structure may provide investors with the low expenses, tax efficiency, transparency and liquidity that ETFs provide, along with an opportunity to benefit from the potentially substantial and growing long-term income streams and diversification benefits that real estate securities may provide.

“By partnering with a real estate securities pioneer like Cohen & Steers to develop this ETF, we are offering investors a best-in-class approach to participating in the global real estate market,” said Tom Carter, Managing Director of ALPS. “Cohen & Steers has established an impressive track record in real estate securities analysis and investment that we believe will make this ETF a category leader.”

Many governments around the world have introduced or are evaluating the introduction of real estate investment structures similar to U.S. REITs. The reasons are clear: REITs give companies the potential to create substantial, long-term income streams and offer the opportunity for significant market growth. In fact, as a result of the emergence of REIT-like structures, the total market capitalization of global real estate securities has already increased from $110 billion in 1992 to $1.1 trillion in 2007.

“We’re pleased to be able to offer investors access to global real estate securities through an ETF,” said Martin Cohen, Co-Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Cohen & Steers. “In our view, real estate is one of the best and most direct ways to invest in a country’s or region’s economy, which makes it a powerful tool for diversification.”

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