Australian exchange-traded fund (ETF) firm BetaShares has registered three more products in NZ under the trans-Tasman mutual recognition regime.
The latest batch of NZ-ready BetaShares ETFs covers the Australian government bond and FTSE 100 indices as well as the actively-managed Legg Mason Emerging Markets Fund.
Following the most recent trio of product registrations, BetaShares has 56 ETFs officially on offer in the NZ market – or just over half of the 90 plus funds the manager offers (or badges) on the ASX.
While it’s difficult to measure the take-up of BetaShares among NZ investors, the firm was at one time looking to hire a sales representative this side of the Tasman.
In its home territory, however, the $7.6 billion BetaShares is thriving in boom times for Australian ETFs. According to the latest BetaShares half-year market report, overall Australian ETF funds under management is poised to hit A$60 billion this year after breaching the $50 billion level already – ahead of expectations.
In a statement, Alex Vyonkur, BetaShares chief executive, said: “Over the past few years, ETFs have become a popular choice for Australian investors to diversify their portfolios, which were traditionally very skewed towards local equities. Australian investors now have access a wide range of ETFs, providing them with the tools to invest into all major asset classes, sectors and regions. At $50 billion we believe that the Australian ETF industry is now well and truly ‘on the map’.”
The BetaShares report found Vanguard has the most dollars in the total of Australian-domiciled ETFs. The rankings, by dollars, are: Vanguard, BlackRock (iShares), BetaShares; and SSgA (State Street, known as SPYDRS).
By numbers of ETFs, though, BetaShares is by far the leader with 52 as of June 30, according to the report. The manager has subsequently added another one. BetaShares is the only major manager that operates an open-architecture approach, allowing other fund managers to access its ETF platform. For BetaShares, they include big managers such as Legg Mason and AMP Capital.
Passive index products received the vast majority of inflows for this half-year (82 per cent), while active and smart beta exposures each received 9 per cent share of flows, Vyonkur said.
“At an issuer level, the inflows into the ETF industry so far this year have been slightly more concentrated than in 2018, with the two largest issuers for flows, Vanguard and BetaShares, receiving approximately 60 per cent of the industry net inflows combined,” he said.
“Strong share market performance saw geared share exposures perform the strongest during this period, with the BetaShares Geared Australian Equity Fund (hedge fund) (ASX: GEAR) up 45 per cent and the BetaShares [the ‘Geared US Equity Fund), up 41 per cent for the half year.”
But the report notes ETF product development has been “somewhat muted” this year with only seven new launches to date compared to 10 over the same period in 2018.
“Despite the slow launch of new products so far, we do expect this to pick up in the second half of the year,” the report says.
BetaShares is owned and managed by its Australian-based management team, including founders Vyonkur and head of sales, Ilan Israelstam, along with a strategic shareholding from Mirae Asset Global Investment, Korea’s largest asset management firm. As at June 2019, Mirae managed over US$130 billion.