The recently released first Quarterly ETF Asset Flow Report (not available online) by the Canadian ETF Association (CETFA) shows some interesting trends. The industry is growing strongly with total net sales across all ETF providers of $2.77 billion. The number of ETFs is also exploding: 18 new ones were introduced during the last quarter alone bringing the total up to 213. So far this year, the most popular ETF categories have been Canadian fixed income, Speciality and Sector Equity. Surprisingly, despite the volatility in the stock markets, Canadian equity remained popular and ranked #4 in net sales. Here are some highlights from the report (Note that net creation refers to the creation of new ETF units):

Total Number of ETF Providers: 7 (iShares, Claymore, HBP, BMO, PowerShares, XTF and RBC)
Total Number of ETFs: 213
Number of new ETFs Launched in Q3-2011: 18

Total AUM with all ETF Providers: $39.668 billion
Largest ETF Provider: iShares (AUM of $27.045 billion)
Total net creations by all ETF providers YTD: $4.95 billion
Largest ETF Provider by net creations YTD: BMO
Top ETF by net creation YTD: BMO Covered Call Canadian Banks ETF (ZWB)

Largest ETF by AUM: iShares S&P/TSX 60 Index Fund (XIU), $10.505 billion
XIU’s share of the entire ETF industry: 26%
Second Largest ETF by AUM: iShares DEX Short Term Bond Index Fund (XSB), 2.06 billion

This article has 7 comments

  1. CC, do you know why XIU has so much more AUM than XIC? They are very similar, but XIU has 8x more holdings than XIC.

    • @Raman: I’m speculating here but I think it’s because XIU is very popular with traders and institutions. XIU has also been around much longer than XIC. Also, It was only a few years back that XIC’s mandate was changed to track the TSX Composite Index. Initially, XIC also tracked the TSX 60 Index but capped any single holding to 10%.

      Interestingly, in the US SPY + IVV, which track the S&P 500 have 6x AUM as VTI.

  2. It is amazing to watch the ETF world develop new offerings almost at the same pace as the mutual fund industry did in the early nineties. IT wasn’t good for investors then and isn’t good for investors now.

    Like funds where there are very few good ones, and thousands of crappy ones, you really only need about 3-4 ETFs to effectively be a passive investor.

    The fact there are so many means people are not using these to be passive at all. If you are going to be passive, you have to be passive.

    I know that CC gets this, but I think many of his readers do not. Hopefully they will follow CCs words, emulate his discipline, and avoid the temptation to traade.

  3. I hope the large Canadian banks don’t take over the ETFs like they have retail banking, brokerage, creditcard and insurance businesses (Manulife and Sunlife are in deep trouble).

    It would be hard for them to swallow iShares but the others are “puny”. I bet they’re kicking their heels at not buying it from Barclay’s during the crisis. I guess they didn’t have the dough -all 5 issued shares and 9-10% interest bonds. I wish I had bought those bonds!!

    I believe (not sure) Horizon has been sold to a Korean outfit.

  4. Thanks for sharing the metrics CC, interesting. Didn’t think there were 213 ETFs!

    Indirectly, I think you’ve helped your readers by highlighting 2 (of the 4-6) ETFs they need for their portfolios (XIU, XSB); those are great products in my opinion.

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