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iPath Launches Nine ETNs in Germany

Written by IU.eu Staff

  
March 02, 2010 12:06 (CET)

Last Thursday, Barclays Bank’s exchange-traded note platform iPath issued nine commodity-linked ETNs on the German stock exchange.

Eight of the nine ETNs track S&P GSCI commodity indices, while the ninth tracks the Dow Jones-UBS commodity index.

The new ETNs are listed in the table below:

Exchange-Traded Note

Bloomberg Ticker

Total Expense Ratio (“TER”)

iPath Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index Total Return

DJUB

0.75%

iPath S&P GSCI Index Total Return

SPGS

0.75%

iPath S&P GSCI Agriculture Index Total Return

AGGS

0.75%

iPath S&P GSCI Energy Index Total Return

NRGY

0.75%

iPath S&P GSCI Grains Index Total Return

SEED

0.75%

iPath S&P GSCI Industrial Metals Index Total Return

IMET

0.75%

iPath S&P GSCI Livestock Index Total Return

MOOO

0.75%

iPath S&P GSCI Precious Metals Index Total Return

PMET

0.75%

iPath S&P GSCI Softs Index Total Return

SOFT

0.75%

This launch brings the total number of iPath ETNs listed on the German stock exchange to 11 following the launch of two ETNs tracking VIX futures (which measure equity market implied volatility) late in 2009.

The ETNs are listed on the exchange-traded commodity (ETC) segment of the exchange, which comprises 151 products from four issuers. 

Competing commodity tracker products on the German stock exchange include exchange-traded funds from a number of issuers and exchange-traded commodities from ETF Securities and Source. 

Exchange-traded funds, which have to adhere to minimum diversification requirements under Europe’s UCITS fund rules, are only able to track certain, broader types of commodity index. For example, EasyETF offers funds tracking the S&P GSCI capped commodity 35/20, the S&P GSCI light energy dynamic and the S&P GSCI agriculture and livestock indices, all of which meet the UCITS diversification requirements.

As ETNs and ETCs are debt securities, not funds, and are therefore unconstrained by UCITS, their issuers are able to offer a broader range of commodity exposures, including trackers following particular index subsectors. Most ETCs provided by Europe’s largest issuer of commodity trackers, ETF Securities, follow versions of the Dow Jones-UBS commodity indices. Competing issuer Source’s ETCs typically follow S&P GSCI indices.

Most of ETF Securities’ and all of Source’s ETCs are collateralised. The iPath ETNs are not collateralised and as senior, unsecured debt obligations of Barclays Bank plc, they bear full counterparty credit exposure to the bank. 

However, Uwe Becker, managing director at Barclays Capital, argues that the iPath ETNs offer perfect tracking (before fees) of their underlying indices, whereas competing tracker products may suffer a divergence in performance from their benchmarks due to swap fees and collateral costs.

The iPath ETNs have an early redemption mechanism, meaning that holders of more than US$2.5 million in notional value of the notes can sell them back to the issuer at the previous day’s closing net asset value, subject to a fee. The ETNs are also callable by the issuer, with the redemption amount potentially based on the redemption value of the securities on multiple days during the 20-day notice period.

Roger Jones, managing director and co-head of global commodities at Barclays Capital, commented: “Over the past five years, we have seen a significant increase in investor interest in commodities as an asset class. We estimate that there are currently over US$250 billion of assets in commodity-linked products and we will continue to see growth. The key reason for investing in commodities is due to portfolio diversification, as well as an inflation hedge. Increasingly, there is demand from investors to gain access to commodities via transparent, low-cost and liquid instruments, which is exactly what iPath ETNs offer.”

 


 



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