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First European Fixed-Income ETFs

Barclays Global Investors says it plans to introduce a family of European iShares benchmarked to iBoxx indexes. The first exchange-traded fund will be listed on the Deutsche Borse and the London Stock Exchange in early 2003 pending regulatory approval, according to BGI.

BGI launched the first U.S. bond ETFs in July 2002, and ETF Advisors introduced FITRs U.S. Treasury exchange-traded funds in November.

Russell iShares options

The International Securities Exchange and Frank Russell Company signed a licensing agreement to offer ETF options contracts based on the family of 12 Russell index iShares. On December 13, the ISE initiated trading by listing options based on the iShares Russell 2000.

More recently, Russell announced another licensing agreement with the Pacific Exchange for options based on Russell iShares. Options based on the iShares Russell 1000, iShares Russell 1000 Value, and iShares Russell 2000 Value began trading yesterday on the Pacific Exchange.

Nasdaq-100 index reshuffles, less tech

On Monday December 23, fifteen names will drop out of the Nasdaq-100, the benchmark for the volatile "cubes" (QQQ). Many of the deleted companies are former tech high-fliers that have been hit hard by that sector's downfall. Conversely, only two of the added stocks are tech names.

According to a Morningstar article, the 15 deleted companies accounted for about 1.6% of the index on a market capitalization weighted basis. The weighting of the added stocks is estimated at about 4% of the total market value of the index's components at the end of November 2002, according to Morningstar.

No cap gains distributions for iShares

Barclays Global Investors announced that the year-end capital gains distributions are zero for all 81 of its iShares ETFs, which cover domestic and international equities, as well as domestic fixed-income.

S&P hedge fund index licensed

BNP Paribas announced it is the first firm to license Standard & Poor's Hedge Fund index for derivatives products. BNP Paribas said it plans to provide a variety of derivative products linked to the index that could include principal protected notes, swaps, and options that may be available by early 2003.

"The pricing characteristics possessed by S&P Hedge Fund Index should enable us to provide daily liquidity under normal conditions, which is unprecedented for any hedge fund product," said Stéphane Liot, global head of fund derivatives at BNP Paribas.

ETF assets close in on $110 billion

The Investment Company Institute today released exchange-traded fund asset data for November 2002. Assets of all exchange-traded funds increased by $8.98 billion to $109.71 billion in November 2002, according to the ICI. Equity index ETF assets increased by $9.13 billion to $105.82 billion, while bond index ETF assets decreased by $143 million to $3.90 billion. Assets of domestic equity ETFs increased by $8.53 billion, and international equity ETF assets increased by $599 million.

Assets of Exchange-Traded Funds by Type (millions of dollars)
Type of Fund
Total Domestic Equity Index
    Domestic (Broad-based)
    Domestic (Sector/Industry)
Global/International Equity Index
Bond Index
Source: Investment Company Institute

New index boss at Dow Jones

Dow Jones & Company announced that Michael A. Petronella has been named president of Dow Jones Indexes/Ventures.

"We have built Dow Jones Indexes/Ventures into a global player, and we will remain at the forefront by creating broad and niche indexes," said Petronella. "Our goal is to become the No. 1 player in the index business."

Mr. Petronella, 47, will succeed David E. Moran, who is leaving the company on December 31.