Swiss Exchange Launches Broad Market ETF


Yesterday the SWX Swiss Exchange announced the launch of an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that tracks the Swiss Market Index. This broad benchmark is a cap-weighted index that contains 29 Swiss blue-chip companies which represent 80% of the total capitalization of Switzerland's equities market. The ETF trades under the symbol XMTCH.

The new ETF joins two others that trade on the Swiss Exchange: STOXX 50 LDRS and Euro STOXX 50 LDRS, which are also cross-listed on the German Deutsche Borse and the Euronext exchange. The Swiss Exchange said it plans to further expand its ETF offerings in the coming months.

Eurex to list Dow Jones Global Titans 50 Index options

International derivatives exchange Eurex and Dow Jones Indexes said they have agreed that Eurex will list futures and options on the Dow Jones Global Titans 50 Index. Trading will begin on April 23, 2001.

Both parties said the announcement is a result of investor demand for global products.

"With over 454 million contracts traded last year and 431 market participants from 17 countries, Eurex is an ideal partner for us," said David Moran, President of Dow Jones Indexes.

Happy Birthday iShares

March 18 marks the fifth anniversary of the inception of the iShares MSCI country-specific ETFs, which were previously known as World Equity Benchmark Shares (WEBS). Managed by Barclays Global Investors (BGI), there are currently 21 iShares that track foreign markets with $1.6 billion in assets.

The iShares country funds have expense ratios that range from 0.84% to 0.99%, compared to the average expense ratio of 1.85% for international mutual funds, according to Morningstar.

Growth of passive funds levels off in 2000

The growth of indexed assets slowed during the second half of 2000, according to a recent survey of leading index funds managers of U.S. institutional tax-exempt assets conducted by Pensions & Investments.

Total worldwide indexed assets of the surveyed managers leveled off during the last half of 2000 at $2.3 trillion, increasing only 1% from the previous six month period. U.S. domestic indexed equity assets represented almost two-thirds of the total, or $1.6 trillion.

Below are the top five fund managers, ranked by worldwide index assets as of December 31, 2000:

Worldwide index assets (millions)
Barclays Global Investors*
State Street Global Advisors
Vanguard Group
Deutsche Asset Management


Source: Pensions & Investments      *as of 10/31/2000

July marks the 30th birthday of the launch of the first index fund, which was created by Wells Fargo to track the S&P 500 in 1971.