Industry Updates

BlackRock ageing population ETF sees inflows amid coronavirus vaccine optimism

AGED saw $179m inflows in the week to 29 January

Jamie Gordon

a group of bottles of liquid

BlackRock's ageing population ETF booked significant inflows as vaccine rollouts offered hope for an economic recovery. 

According to data from Ultumus, the $581m iShares Ageing Population UCITS ETF (AGED) saw its assets under management increase (AUM) by 39.1% week-on-week, courtesy of $179m inflows in the week to 29 January.

Launched in September 2016, AGED tracks the STOXX Global Ageing Population index, a long-term theme which BlackRock said has potentially been exacerbated by low birth rates since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. 

In the short term, inflows have been driven by vaccine rollouts across the US, EU and the UK which managed to deliver a first dose to around 10 million of its population. 

Alongside coronavirus vaccine delivery, economic recovery hopes were buoyed by the announcement that the Novavax candidate has an efficacy of 89% while Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine has proven 85% effective. 

As these new entrants gain approvals across respective geographies, the capacity of rollout programmes will be less constrained by supply limitations which would offer reassurance for an economic recovery being on track. 

A BlackRock spokesperson said: “The ETF looks to invest in products and services which support a growing elderly population, across healthcare, ageing care, leisure and financial holdings.

“This sector has enjoyed a pick-up in performance in recent months following improving sentiment around the rollout of the vaccine and the prospect of economies re-opening.”

Markets set for a coronavirus vaccine led recovery in 2021

Eight out of ten of the top ten holdings in AGED are in the healthcare sector with the largest of these being Fate Therapeutics, Denali Therapeutics, and Crispr Therapeutics. The three companies hold weightings within the ETF of 1.1%, 0.9% and 0.9% respectively. 

The ETF has returned 2.4% so far this year and 12.6% in 2020 versus 15.9% for the MSCI World.

Elsewhere, the iShares China CNY Bond UCITS ETF (CYBA) saw the highest inflows across all European-listed last week with $398m poured into the strategy.

Featured in this article

Logo for BlackRockLogo for Ultumus