State Street and Unico to Introduce ETFs in Germany


In a nod to the growing popularity of exchange-traded funds in Europe, Frankfurt-based Unico Asset Management announced that Boston-headquartered indexing behemoth State Street Global Advisors will manage and service seven new Unico i-tracker ETFs.

The new series, which will be introduced on March 1, includes the first ETF hitched to the MSCI World Index, as well as several European MSCI sector index funds. The new funds will trade on the XTF segment of the Deutsche Börse in Frankfurt, Germany, which is currently home to 18 ETFs.

At last count, 110 of the 212 global ETFs were trading on overseas exchanges, including Canada, and oftentimes more than one European exchange will list an ETF.

As of the end of last week, total global ETF assets under management were at $98 billion, a 5% decrease from the total at the close of 2001. State Street Global Advisors offers 39 ETFs globally and dominates the market it terms of global (39%) and U.S. (44%) market share. Much of that hegemony is due to the success of the first domestic ETF, the SPDR 500 (SPY), which holds nearly $27.5 in assets, or more than 35% of all domestic ETF assets.