The Great August Fund Die-Off


(this article originally appeared on ETF.com )

August 2016 has to be one of the biggest months for fund shutdowns, with a total of 41 ETFs being taken off the market. Another batch of closures for September was announced during August as well.

The month kicked off with the closure of the Calamos Focus Growth ETF (CFGE) on Aug. 1. Then there were nine closures of UBS-sponsored ETNs on Aug. 16 and 18:

  • Etracs Diversified High Income ETN (DVHI)
  • Etracs Monthly Pay 2X Leveraged Dow Jones International Real Estate ETN (RWXL)
  • Etracs Wells Fargo MLP Index ETN (MLPW)
  • Etracs Wells Fargo MLP Ex-Energy ETN (FMLP)
  • Etracs ISE Exclusively Homebuilders ETN (HOMX)
  • Etracs Daily Long-Short VIX ETN (XVIX)
  • Etracs S&P 500 Gold Hedged Index ETN (SPGH)
  • Etracs S&P 500 VEQTOR Switch Index ETN (VQTS)
  • UBS AG FI Enhanced Big Cap Growth ETN (FBG)

On Aug. 23 and 24, iShares and State Street Global Advisors closed down a total of 23 funds, some of which had fairly significant assets.

The iShares ETFs included the following:

  • iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Latin America ETF (EEML)
  • iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Horizon ETF (EMHZ)
  • iShares Enhanced International Large-Cap ETF (IEIL)
  • iShares Enhanced U.S. Large-Cap ETF (IELG)
  • iShares Enhanced International Small-Cap ETF (IEIS)
  • iShares Enhanced U.S. Small-Cap ETF (IESM)
  • iShares International Inflation-Linked Bond ETF (ITIP)
  • iShares Global Inflation-Linked Bond ETF (GTIP)
  • iShares Baa – Ba Rated Corporate Bond ETF (QLTB)
  • iShares B – Ca Rated Corporate Bond ETF (QLTC)

Meanwhile, the list of SPDRs closures covered the following:

  • SPDR BofA Merrill Lynch Emerging Markets Corporate Bond ETF (EMCD)
  • SPDR Barclays International High Yield Bond ETF (IJNK)
  • SPDR Russell/Nomura PRIME Japan ETF (JPP)
  • SPDR Russell/Nomura Small Cap Japan ETF (JSC)
  • SPDR S&P International Mid Cap ETF (MDD)
  • SPDR SSgA Risk Aware ETF (RORO)
  • SPDR Nuveen Barclays Build America Bond ETF (BABS)
  • SPDR Nuveen Barclays California Municipal Bond ETF (CXA)
  • SPDR Nuveen Barclays New York Municipal Bond ETF (INY)

CXA had nearly $150 million in assets under management, and another four of the SPDR ETFs had $50 million or more in AUM. The firm mentioned that some of the funds had been closed due to “limited market demand.” In the case of the iShares ETFs, IELG and IEIL had $71 million and $64 million in AUM, respectively.

And on Aug. 25, ProShares shut down nine ETFs, including six inverse exposure funds and three leveraged funds:

  • ProShares UltraShort Junior Miners (GDJS)
  • ProShares Ultra Homebuilders & Supplies (HBU)
  • ProShares UltraShort Homebuilders & Supplies (HBZ)
  • ProShares Ultra Investment Grade Corporate (IGU)
  • ProShares Short Investment Grade Corporate (IGS)
  • ProShares Ultra MSCI Pacific Ex­ Japan (UXJ)
  • ProShares Ultra Bloomberg Commodity (UCD)
  • ProShares UltraShort Bloomberg Commodity (CMD)
  • ProShares UltraShort MSCI Pacific Ex­Japan (JPX)

More Closures In September

Another dozen fund closures were announced in August, with the funds set to trade for the last time in September. Through the first seven months of 2016, there were 40 ETF closures, almost as many as occurred in the entire month of August. If you include the ETFs that are already expected to close in September, we will see at least 93 closures for the first nine months of the year. With the entire fourth quarter left to go, it seems likely we’ll record more closures for 2016 than the roughly 100 that took place in 2015.

The 12 ETFs set to close in September and their closure dates are as follows:

  • iShares iBonds Sep 2016 Term Muni Bond ETF (IBME), Sept. 2
  • AccuShares Spot CBOE VIX Up Shares (VXUP), Sept. 8
  • AccuShares Spot CBOE VIX Down Shares (VXDN), Sept. 8
  • AccuShares S&P GSCI Crude Oil Excess Return Down Shares (OILD), Sept. 8
  • AccuShares S&P GSCI Crude Oil Excess Return Up Shares (OILU), Sept. 8
  • Guggenheim Emerging Markets Real Estate ETF (EMRE), Sept. 20
  • WisdomTree Japan Interest Rate Strategy Fund (JGBB), Sept. 22
  • WisdomTree Global ex-U.S. Utilities Fund (DBU), Sept. 22
  • WisdomTree Global Natural Resources Fund (GNAT), Sept. 22
  • WisdomTree Commodity Currency Strategy Fund (CCX), Sept. 22
  • WisdomTree Commodity Country Equity Fund (CCXE), Sept. 22
  • WisdomTree Coal Fund (TONS), Sept. 22

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