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August 28, 2023

Monday Morning Memo: Global ETF Industry Review – July 2023

by Detlef Glow.

It was not surprising to see that ETFs enjoyed overall inflows on a global basis over the course of July 2023. Nevertheless, these inflows occurred in an unstable market environment in which some asset classes showed positive results, while others performed negatively. The market sentiment was driven by hopes that central banks—especially the U.S. Federal Reserve—may have reached the last phase of their fight against high inflation rates and may, therefore, start to keep interest rates at least stable quite soon. Some investors already expect that there might be room for decreasing interest rates later this year, but these expectations might be too positive given the hawkish statements from the Fed and other central banks such as the European Central Bank (ECB).

In addition, there are still concerns about the war in Ukraine and other geopolitical tensions. Investors are also concerned about the normalization of the disrupted delivery chains. Even as China seems to be back on track after reopening of the economy, there are still some frictions in the system.

Additionally, market participants are still concerned about a possible recession in the U.S. and other major economies around the globe. These fears are raised by long-term (12 month+) inverted yield curves which are seen as an early indicator for an upcoming recession.

Within this market environment, the promoters of ETFs enjoyed overall inflows (+$334.4 bn), while the promoters of structured notes faced estimated outflows of $334.4 bn.

Table 1: General Overview on Global Assets Under Management and Estimated Fund Flows by Regions and Major ETF Domiciles.

Global ETF Industry Review, July 2023

Source: LSEG Lipper

Assets Under Management

Assets under management in the global ETF industry rose from $10,212.4 bn at the end of June 2023 to $10,536.1 bn at the end of July 2023. The majority of these assets ($8,135.7 bn) were held in equity ETFs. This category was followed by bond ETFs ($1,969.3 bn), commodities ETFs ($198.4 bn) alternatives ETFs ($77.7 bn), “other” ETFs (€68.9 bn), money market ETFs ($46.4 bn), mixed-assets ETFs ($39.7 bn), and real estate ETFs (€0.01 bn).

Graph 1: Market Share Assets Under Management in the Global ETF Industry by Asset Type – July 31, 2023

Global ETF Industry Review, July 2023

Source: LSEG Lipper

Since this report covers a limited number of ETNs and ETCs, the so-called “structured notes” alongside ETFs it is important to show the market share of assets under management of these products in comparison to the ETFs, to indicate the relevance and possible impact of these products for this study.

While ETFs held $10,339.4 bn or 98.13% of the overall assets under management, the structured notes covered in this report held $196.7 bn or 1.87% of the overall assets under management at the end of July 2023.

Graph 2: Market Share Assets Under Management in the Global ETF Industry by Product Type – July 31, 2023

Source: LSEG Lipper

Assets Under Management by Region, July 31, 2023

ETFs domiciled in North America ($7,908.6 bn) held the highest assets under management in the global ETF industry at the end of July 2023. They were followed by ETFs domiciled in Europe ($1,672.9 bn), ETFs domiciled in the Asia Pacific region ($928.6 bn), ETFs domiciled in Middle and South America ($18.4 bn), and ETFs domiciled in Africa ($7.6 bn).

Graph 3: Assets Under Management in the Global ETF Industry by Region – July 31, 2023 (in mn USD)

Source: LSEG Lipper

In more detail, the U.S. was the largest single country ETF domicile (($7,616.7 bn) at the end of July 2023, followed by Ireland ($1,139.9 bn), Japan ($512.1 bn), Luxembourg ($332.5 bn), and Canada ($299.4 bn). These five ETF domiciles account for assets under management of $9,892.2 bn, or 93.89%, of the overall assets under management in the global ETF industry.

Assets Under Management by Lipper Global Classification, July 31, 2023

Equity U.S. held by far the highest assets under management ($3,348.5 bn) of the 264 Lipper Global Classifications covered in this report. It was followed by Equity U.S. Small & Mid Cap ($693.1 bn), Equity Global ex U.S. ($637.3 bn), Equity Japan ($540.6 bn), and Equity Global ($360.6 bn).

Graph 4: The 20 Largest Lipper Global Classifications by Assets Under Management– July 31, 2023 (in mn USD)

Global ETF Industry Review, July 2023

Source: LSEG Lipper

A closer review of the assets under management by Lipper Global Classification shows that the 10 largest classifications held $7,070.0 bn, or 67.10%, of the overall assets under management of the global ETF industry, while the largest 20 classifications account for $8,350.3 bn, or 79.25%, of the overall assets under management at the end of July 2023.

Assets Under Management by Promoters, July 31, 2023

BlackRock (iShares) is the largest promoter of ETFs globally ($3,378.5 bn). It is followed by Vanguard ($2,396.3 bn), State Street Global Advisors (SPDR) ($1,199.5 bn), Invesco ($499.6 bn), and Charles Schwab Investment Management ($303.1 bn).

Graph 5: Assets Under Management of the 20 Largest ETF Promoters Globally  – July 31, 2023 (in mn USD)

Source: LSEG Lipper

As graph 5 shows, the assets under management in the global ETF industry are even more highly concentrated at the promoter level than on the domicile or classification level.

The top three ETF promoter globally account for assets under management of $6,974.2 bn, or 66.19%, of the overall assets under management, while the top 10 promoters account for $8,695.9 bn, or 82.53%, of the overall assets under management and the top 20 promoters account for $9,491.4 bn, or 90.08%, of the assets under management held by ETFs globally.

Global ETF Flows

The global ETF industry enjoyed healthy overall inflows (+$84.4 bn) over the course of July 2023.

As mentioned before, this report covers a limited number of structured notes alongside ETFs it is important to split the overall estimated fund flows between these two product types, to indicate the relevance and possible impact of structured notes for this study.

ETFs enjoyed estimated net inflows of $87.0 bn over the course of July 2023, while structured notes faced estimated net outflows of $2.6 bn for the month.

Graph 6: Estimated Net Sales by Product Type, July 2023 (in mn USD)

Source: LSEG Lipper

The estimated net inflows for the month drove the overall estimated net flows up to +$418.5 bn for the first seven months of 2023

Global ETF Flows by Region, July 2023

By reviewing the estimated flows in the global ETF industry by fund domicile and the respective regions one needs to bear in mind that some domiciles have specific advantages or disadvantages when it comes to ETF distribution. The U.S. is for example a single market and can take profit from the size of the overall market, while in Europe every market is or at least can be an ETF domicile, which means that the local markets are much smaller. That said, the EU countries have established a fund regulation (Undertakings in Collective Investments and Transferable Securities or UCITS) which enables the fund and ETF industry to cross list all products which are registered for sale in one EU country into another EU country. Since UCITS has become such a well-recognized regulation standard for mutual funds and ETFs, some countries in South and Middle America, as well in Asia, allow UCITS funds to be cross listed and sold to local investors. It is fair to say that there is no other regulatory framework available that allows funds to be distributed in various countries. Other mutual recognition agreements, such as those between Hong Kong and China or Hong Kong and Taiwan, are only bilateral and have no global reach. This means that the estimated flows for European ETFs may also include flows from South and Middle America, as well as from Asia.

As to be expected, ETFs domiciled in North America (+$63.4 bn) enjoyed the highest estimated net inflows for July 2023. They were followed by ETFs domiciled in Europe (+$15.6 bn), Asia Pacific (+$4.8 bn), and South and Middle America (+$0.4 bn). On the other side of the table, ETFs domiciled in Africa faced estimated net outflows (-$0.1 bn).

Graph 7: Estimated Net Sales by Region, July, 2023 (in mn USD)

Source: LSEG Lipper

Global ETF Flows by Asset Type, July 2023

Given the overall market environment it was somewhat surprising that equity ETFs (+$56.5 bn) were the best-selling asset type for July 2023. They were followed by bond ETFs (+$29.0 bn), money market ETFs (+$2.2 bn), and mixed-assets ETFs (+$0.6 bn). On the other side of the table, real estate ETFs (-$0.001 bn), alternatives ETFs (-$0.5 bn), “other” ETFs (+$1.5 bn), and commodities ETFs (-$2.0 bn) faced estimated net outflows.

Graph 8: Estimated Net Sales by Asset Type, July 2023 (in mn USD)

 

Global ETF Industry Review, July 2023

Source: LSEG Lipper

The fact that investors around the globe bought further into bond ETFs might be seen as a sign that investors may anticipate a possible ending of the interest hiking cycle of central banks around the globe led by the U.S. Federal Reserve. Therefore, this positioning might be seen as a bet against the hawkish statements of the Fed and the ECB, which were indicating that they will further hike interest rates.

Global ETF Flows by Lipper Global Classifications, July 2023

A closer look at the best- and worst-selling Lipper Global Classifications for July 2023 shows that investors are somewhat in a risk-on mode with regard to their risk appetite. This is because the table of the 10 best-selling Lipper Global Classifications is composed of six equity, three bond and one alternative classification. Nevertheless, Equity U.S. (+$25.8 bn) was the best-selling Lipper Global Classification for July. It was followed by Bond USD Medium Term (+$8.5 bn), Equity US Small & Mid Cap (+$7.3 bn), Bond USD Government (+$6.0 bn), and  Equity Global ex US (+$3.9 bn).

Graph 9: Ten Best- and Worst-Selling Lipper Global Classifications by Estimated Net Sales, July 2023 (in mn USD)

Global ETF Industry Review, July 2023

Source: LSEG Lipper

On the other side of the table, Bond USD Short Term (-$3.9 bn) faced the highest outflows for July. It was bettered by Equity Taiwan (-$1.8 bn), Commodity Precious Metals (-$1.6 bn), Alternatives Equity Leveraged (-$1.6 bn), and Equity Europe (-$1.5 bn).

An in-depth look at the 10 classifications with the highest in- and outflows indicates that investors around the globe may expect that the inverted yield curves may normalize soon and inflation rates to fall further as they sold Bond USD Short Term (-$3.9 bn), and Commodity Precious Metals (-$1.7 bn), while they bought in general bonds with longer durations over the course of July 2023.

Global ETF Flows by Promoters, July 2023

BlackRock (iShares) (+$29.2 bn) is the best-selling ETF promoter globally over the course of July 2023, ahead of Vanguard (+$20.1 bn), Invesco (+$9.0 bn), State Street Global Advisors (SPDR) (+3.1 bn), and Van Eck (+2.4 bn).

Graph 10: Twenty Best-Selling ETF Promoters Globally, July 2023 (in mn USD)

Global ETF Industry Review, July 2023

Source: LSEG Lipper

Overall, the 20 best-selling ETF promoters account for estimated net inflows of $77.4 bn.

 

This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute any investment advice.

The views expressed are the views of the author, not necessarily those of LSEG Lipper or LSEG.

 

 

 

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