European ETF Assets Exceed $500 Billion

Terry Flanagan

Assets in exchange-traded funds and products listed in Europe broke through the $500bn milestone for the first time in April, 15 years after the first ETFs were listed in the region.

European ETFs/ETPs had record assets of $511bn at the end of last month according to consultancy ETFGI’s preliminary monthly global insight report for April 2015. The inflows in Europe helped boost global ETF assets to a record $2.998 trillion at the end of last month.

Deborah Fuhr, managing partner of ETFGI, said in a statement: “Market performance outside the United States contributed to the overall increase in assets invested in ETFs/ETPs.”

Last month Europe had net inflows of $3.4bn with fixed income gathering the largest net assets of $4.8bn. Commodities had net inflows of $126m but equities had net outflows of $2.1bn.

The first ETFs were listed in Europe on April 11 2000 when products tracking the STOXX 50 index started trading on Deutsche Boerse, sponsored by Merrill Lynch International.

On 23 April 2015 London Stock Exchange Group celebrated the fifteenth anniversary of the first ETF listing in the UK with the number growing to 791. Turnover in the London ETF market has risen from £3.9bn in 2004 to £185.8bn last year.

Mark Makepeace, group director of information services, LSEG, and chief executive of FTSE Group, said at the time: “While we don’t expect another 4000% rise in turnover in the next decade, market appetite remains very strong and we expect further exceptional growth in these products in the coming years.”

Research from Source, the European ETP provider, found that 68% of professional investors and advisers in Europe are currently using ETPs to manage around 10% of the assets in their portfolios.

Peter Thompson, president of Source, said in a statement: “The findings suggest that the European market for ETPs still has significant room for growth and that they remain popular investment vehicles.”

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