SPDR poll - sector ETF use set to rise in UK

Scott Longley

Nearly half of all wealth managers in the UK expect their use of sector ETFs to increase in the coming 12 months, according to a survey published this week by SPDR ETF.

The survey of 53 UK-based wealth managers shows that 44 percent believed they would be investing more into sector ETFs increase in the year ahead.

SPDR said that since November 2016, it has seen a 47% increase in assets dedicated to sector ETFs, outpacing the 30% growth in overall ETF assets.

Clare Perryman, UK head of SPDR ETF at State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), said that healthcare, infrastructure and financials were the standout sectors over the period from November 2016 with the election of Donald Trump to the US Presidency being a watershed moment for European investors.

"The market quickly identified potential winners and losers emerging from the changing political landscape, and assets flowed into ETFs accordingly," she said.

The survey suggested that the enthusiasm for sector ETFs was driven largely by the wider dispersion of results with 41% suggesting that as a reason for investing while 31% also cited the lower correlation between the constituents of the strategy. Another 24% said it provided for greater returns.

"As wealth managers seek to build targeted exposures with less concentration risk than single stocks, we expect this trend to continue throughout 2018 and beyond," said Perryman.

When it came to future use, only 4% said their use of sector ETFs would decrease at all in the next 12 months and 48% said it would remain the same.

When it came to fund selection, the survey found that fund longevity and liquidity were the most important factors (at 73% and 67% respectively). Charges were the next biggest issue at 54%.

The survey took place between December 2017 and April this year.

SPDR manages upwards of $160bn in sector ETFs globally.

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