Complete List of 101 ETP Closures In 2015

new etfsRon Rowland:  A total of 101 U.S.-listed exchange traded funds (“ETFs”) and exchange traded notes (“ETNs”) had their listings removed in 2015, one shy of the record 102 closures in 2012.  Of the 2,405 U.S. exchange traded products (“ETPs”) launched since 1993, when the industry began, only 1,845 remain, making the lifetime death toll 560 (475 ETFs and 85 ETNs).  This puts the historical mortality rate at 23.3%, up from 21.6% a year ago. It’s getting tougher to survive out there.

A significant but uncelebrated milestone was achieved in 2015: the lifetime death toll reached 500.  Broken down by major categories, the 101 closures of 2015 consisted of 11 sector, 14 style and strategy, 21 global and international, 12 bond, 10 inverse, 17 leveraged and inverse, 12 commodity, and four currency products.  Slicing another direction reveals 79 of the closures were ETFs and 22 were ETNs.  Nine of the shuttered ETFs were actively managed funds.

Percentage-wise, ETN closures were more significant.  During 2015, there were only a dozen launches, and ETNs declined from 211 to 201.  This is the largest-ever annual decline of ETNs, and the number of active listings remains well below the peak of 218 established in mid-2012.

Closures affected 20 brands and sponsors.  Three firms completely exited the business by closing their entire product lines.  The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) closed all 13 of its ETNs, Russell closed its one remaining ETF after shutting down the other 25 back in 2012, and Source closed its one-and-only U.S.-listed ETF.  As an ETF sponsor, Source lasted less than seven months in the U.S. market and now holds the record for the shortest sponsor lifespan.

Sponsors and brands with the highest closure quantities for the year included BlackRock iShares (19), ProShares (19), RBS ETNs (13), Deutsche X-trackers (7), Invesco PowerShares (6), and AdvisorShares (6).

Assets in these closed products averaged $25.4 million for a total of $2.57 billion.  However, a large portion can be attributed to the three target-maturity ETFs with their planned maturity and liquidation dates.  These were Guggenheim BulletShares 2015 High Yield Corporate Bond (BSJF) at $469 million, Guggenheim BulletShares 2015 Corporate Bond (BSCF) at $363 million, and iShares iBonds Sep 2015 AMT-Free Muni Bond (IBMD) at $89 million.

Strategic closures also had an impact on the numbers.  The decision by RBS to exit the business left $827 million on the table, including $488 million in the RBS US Large Cap Trendpilot ETN (TRND) and $144 million in the RBS US Mid Cap Trendpilot ETN (TRNM).  Deutsche Bank (DB) bet the farm on currency hedging and closed most of its non-hedged products, including two with assets of more than $40 million each.  The Invesco-DB partnership appeared to come to an end when all of the PowerShares ETNs issued by DB were closed and liquidated.

With the exception of out-of-the-blue strategic closure decisions, ETF Deathwatch continues to do a good job of identifying the zombie ETFs and warning investors of potential fund closures.  Of the 101 liquidated products, 79 were on ETF Deathwatch when their terminations were announced.  Excluding the strategic decisions mentioned above, just nine of the closures were not on ETF Deathwatch.  Many of those had assets above $25 million, which suggests the current criteria may not be strict enough.

Ages of the liquidated products ranged from less than seven months for the Source EUROSTOX 50 ETF (ESTX) to 7.9 years for a dozen of the ProShares ETFs.  In all, 21 of the products were more than seven years old, suggesting that sponsors had been willing to subsidize these funds for many years before giving up hope of them ever becoming profitable.  Given the increasingly competitive landscape, it’s not clear sponsors will exhibit such patience going forward.

The interactive table below is currently sorted by product name.

ETF and ETN Closures of 2015

# Ticker Name Last Day Deathwatch Notes
1 AGLS AdvisorShares Accuvest Global Long Short 08/07/2015 Yes 1
2 ACCU AdvisorShares Accuvest Global Opportunities 01/09/2015 1
3 HDGI AdvisorShares Athena International Bear 01/09/2015 Yes 1
4 GGBP AdvisorShares Gartman Gold/British Pound 01/26/2015 Yes 1
5 GLDE AdvisorShares International Gold 01/26/2015 Yes 1
6 DBIZ AdvisorShares Pring Turner Business Cycle 10/02/2015 Yes 1
7 CSMB CS X-Links 2x Monthly Merger Arbitrage ETN 07/02/2015 Yes
8 CSMN CS X-Links HOLT Market Neutral Global Equity ETN 07/02/2015 Yes
9 TDD Deutsche X-trackers 2010 Target Date 05/18/2015 Yes
10 TDH Deutsche X-trackers 2020 Target Date 05/18/2015
11 TDN Deutsche X-trackers 2030 Target Date 05/18/2015
12 TDV Deutsche X-trackers 2040 Target Date 05/18/2015
13 TDX Deutsche X-trackers In-Target Date 05/18/2015 Yes
14 UTLT Deutsche X-trackers Regulated Utilities 09/09/2015 Yes
15 SUBD Deutsche X-trackers Solactive Investment Grade Subordinated Debt 09/09/2015 Yes
16 SYTL Direxion Daily 7-10 Year Treasury Bull 2x 10/20/2015 Yes
17 MATL Direxion Daily Basic Materials Bull 3x 10/20/2015 Yes
18 BAR Direxion Daily Gold Bull 3x 06/19/2015 Yes
19 MDLL Direxion Daily Mid Cap Bull 2x 10/20/2015 Yes
20 BCHP EGShares Blue Chip 10/30/2015 Yes
21 BRXX EGShares Brazil Infrastructure 10/30/2015 Yes
22 AGOL ETFS Physical Asian Gold Shares 08/12/2015
23 BRAF Global X Brazil Financials 10/08/2015 Yes
24 AZIA Global X Central Asia & Mongolia Index 10/08/2015 Yes
25 GURX Global X Guru Small Cap Index 10/08/2015 Yes
26 JUNR Global X Junior Miners 10/08/2015 Yes
27 BSCF Guggenheim BulletShares 2015 Corp Bond 12/30/2015 2
28 BSJF Guggenheim BulletShares 2015 HY Corp Bond 12/30/2015 2
29 HFIN Horizons S&P Financial Sel Sec Covered Call 03/20/2015 Yes
30 IFAS iShares Asia Developed Real Estate 08/21/2015 Yes
31 MONY iShares Financials Bond 08/21/2015 Yes
32 FCHI iShares FTSE China 08/21/2015
33 IBMD iShares iBonds Sep 2015 AMT-Free Muni Bond 09/01/2015 2
34 ENGN iShares Industrials Bond 08/21/2015 Yes
35 AAIT iShares MSCI All Country Asia Info Tech 08/21/2015 Yes
36 AXJS iShares MSCI All Country Asia x-Japan SmallCap 08/21/2015 Yes
37 EWAS iShares MSCI Australia Small-Cap 08/21/2015 Yes
38 EWCS iShares MSCI Canada Small-Cap 08/21/2015 Yes
39 EMDI iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Cons Discretionary 08/21/2015 Yes
40 ESR iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Eastern Europe 08/21/2015
41 EEME iShares MSCI Emerging Markets EMEA 08/21/2015 Yes
42 EMEY iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Energy Sector 08/21/2015 Yes
43 EGRW iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Growth 08/21/2015 Yes
44 EVAL iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Value 08/21/2015
45 EWHS iShares MSCI Hong Kong Small-Cap 08/21/2015
46 EWSS iShares MSCI Singapore Small-Cap 08/21/2015 Yes
47 IFNA iShares North America Real Estate 08/21/2015
48 AMPS iShares Utilities Bond 08/21/2015
49 QEM Market Vectors MSCI Emerging Markets Quality 09/18/2015 Yes
50 QDEM Market Vectors MSCI Emerging Markets Quality Dividend 09/18/2015 Yes
51 QXUS Market Vectors MSCI International Quality 09/18/2015 Yes
52 QDXU Market Vectors MSCI International Quality Dividend 09/18/2015 Yes
53 BARL Morgan Stanley S&P 500 Crude Oil ETN 01/29/2015 Yes
54 FIVZ PIMCO 3-7 Year U.S. Treasury Index 09/23/2015 Yes
55 TENZ PIMCO 7-15 Year U.S. Treasury Index 09/23/2015
56 FORX PIMCO Foreign Currency Strategy Active 09/23/2015 Yes 1
57 ITLT PowerShares DB 3x Italian T-Bond Futures ETN 02/24/2015
58 UUPT PowerShares DB 3x Long USD Idx Futures ETN 02/24/2015
59 UDNT PowerShares DB 3x Short USD Idx Futures ETN 02/24/2015 Yes
60 ITLY PowerShares DB Italian T-Bond Futures ETN 02/24/2015 Yes
61 DEFL PowerShares DB US Deflation ETN 02/24/2015 Yes
62 INFL PowerShares DB US Inflation ETN 02/24/2015 Yes
63 FINF ProShares Short 30 Year TIPS/TSY Spread 01/08/2015 Yes
64 GDAY ProShares Ultra Australian Dollar 06/18/2015 Yes
65 UKW ProShares Ultra Russell Midcap Growth 01/08/2015 Yes
66 UVU ProShares Ultra Russell Midcap Value 01/08/2015 Yes
67 UKF ProShares Ultra Russell1000 Growth 01/08/2015 Yes
68 UVG ProShares Ultra Russell1000 Value 01/08/2015 Yes
69 UKK ProShares Ultra Russell2000 Growth 01/08/2015 Yes
70 UVT ProShares Ultra Russell2000 Value 01/08/2015 Yes
71 UWC ProShares Ultra Russell3000 01/08/2015 Yes
72 UINF ProShares UltraPro 10 Year TIPS/TSY Spread 01/08/2015 Yes
73 SINF ProShares UltraPro Short 10yr TIPS/TSY Sprd 01/08/2015 Yes
74 SDK ProShares UltraShort Russell Midcap Growth 01/08/2015 Yes
75 SJL ProShares UltraShort Russell Midcap Value 01/08/2015 Yes
76 SFK ProShares UltraShort Russell1000 Growth 01/08/2015 Yes
77 SJF ProShares UltraShort Russell1000 Value 01/08/2015 Yes
78 SKK ProShares UltraShort Russell2000 Growth 01/08/2015 Yes
79 SJH ProShares UltraShort Russell2000 Value 01/08/2015 Yes
80 TWQ ProShares UltraShort Russell3000 01/08/2015 Yes
81 TLL ProShares UltraShort Telecommunications 09/14/2015 Yes
82 TCHI RBS China Trendpilot ETN 07/06/2015 Yes
83 DRGS RBS Global Big Pharma ETN 07/06/2015 Yes
84 TBAR RBS Gold Trendpilot ETN 07/06/2015
85 TNDQ RBS NASDAQ 100 Trendpilot ETN 07/06/2015
86 TWTI RBS Oil Trendpilot ETN 07/06/2015 Yes
87 RGRA RBS Rogers Enhanced Agriculture ETN 07/06/2015 Yes
88 RGRC RBS Rogers Enhanced Commodity Index ETN 07/06/2015 Yes
89 RGRE RBS Rogers Enhanced Energy ETN 07/06/2015 Yes
90 RGRI RBS Rogers Enhanced Industrial Metals ETN 07/06/2015 Yes
91 RGRP RBS Rogers Enhanced Precious Metals ETN 07/06/2015 Yes
92 ALTL RBS US Large Cap Alternator ETN 07/06/2015 Yes
93 TRND RBS US Large Cap Trendpilot ETN 07/06/2015
94 TRNM RBS US Mid Cap Trendpilot ETN 07/06/2015
95 ONEF Russell Equity 01/26/2015 Yes 1
96 ESTX Source EURO STOXX 50 04/10/2015
97 VRD SPDR Nuveen S&P VRDO Municipal Bond 03/18/2015 Yes
98 KME SPDR S&P Mortgage Finance 03/18/2015 Yes
99 GMFS SPDR S&P Small Cap Emerging Asia Pacific 03/18/2015 Yes
100 USMI United States Metals 03/18/2015 Yes
101 EU WisdomTree Euro Debt 02/11/2015 Yes 1
Showing 1 to 101 of 101 entries

Notes: 1) actively managed, 2) reached planned maturity.  All exchange traded notes are identified with “ETN” as part of their name description.

Additional resources:

This article is brought to you courtesy of Ron Rowland from Invest With an Edge.

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