Assets of exchange-traded funds increased by $3.71 billion to a total of $159.53 billion in February, with the bulk of the rise due to the $3.42 billion increase in equity index ETF assets. Bond index ETF assets grew by $296 million.
Net issuance of ETF shares was 1.99 billion. Gross issuance and redemptions were both down from January 2004. The number of ETFs the ICI received information from remained stable from January at 132, up from 119 in December 2003.
Some new money and decent performance accounted for the increase in assets. Based on the size of the flows into and out of the funds, the ICI surmises that they’re used primarily by institutional investors. However, an ICI spokesperson commented that he’d seen increased ETF advertising aimed at retail investors. "There might be a push out there to get these more into the mainstream," he said.
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