International/Global Equity Leads April ETF Fund Filings

Sixty-four open-end exchange-traded funds (ETFs) were filed in April, according to the new Fund Filings Review from Strategic Insight, an Asset International company.

The majority (55) of ETFs filed in April were in the international/global equity/hybrid category. Brazil was a target for ETFs filed by Global X Management Company, while Russia and Asian countries were targeted by ETFs filed by Rafferty Asset Management, issuer of Direxion funds.

Six U.S. equity/hybrid ETFs were filed by Rafferty Asset Management and three bond ETFs were filed by Schwab in April. 

Russell Investments, which licenses its indexes to several ETF sponsors, is looking to start its own ETFs, according to the SI data. 

Other Fund Filings

Among other fund filings, UBS filed the UBS Market Neutral Multi-Strategy fund, which will invest across all cap levels and in both developed and emerging markets in its attempt to achieve returns of 2.75% to 4.75% above those of 3-month U.S. Treasury bills (net of management fees) over rolling five-year time horizons.

Virtus is planning to make available on its lineup a third fund sub-advised by F-Squared Investments, the Virtus Premium AlphaSector fund. That fund will adopt a sector rotation strategy involving the nine Select Sector SPDR ETFs, but the quantitative model used to make allocations will be evaluated on a weekly instead of a monthly basis as the one used for the existing funds. 

T. Rowe Price filed the global T. Rowe Price Real Assets fund, which will focus on stocks of companies that are “engaged in activities related to or have substantial ownership of ‘real assets.’”

Russell Investments registered the Russell Global Infrastructure fund. 

BNY Mellon is preparing two funds that will each invest in multiple large-cap equity strategies (directly or through underlying funds) in order to provide exposure to various large-cap managers and styles: the BNY Large Cap Market Opportunities and the BNY Mellon Tax Sensitive Large Cap Multi-Strategy. BNY Mellon subsidiary, Dreyfus, filed two multi-managed growth-style U.S. equity funds: the Dreyfus Select Managers Large Cap Growth fund and the Dreyfus Select Managers Small Cap Growth fund. 

Delaware has proposed the institutional Delaware Macquarie Real Estate fund. 
Looking to capitalize on the heightened interest in emerging market investing, one of South Korea’s top asset managers, Mirae Asset, has filed its first mutual funds in the U.S., according to the SI report. The six funds the firm filed in April will each be sub-advised by an affiliate based in Hong Kong and/or an affiliate based in Sao Paulo, Brazil: Global Emerging Markets Great Consumer, Global Emerging Markets Sector Leader, Asia Great Consumer, Asia Sector Leader, China Sector Leader, and Brazil Sector Leader funds. 

Legg Mason filed the ClearBridge Energy MLP fund, which will invest in a portfolio of master limited partnerships in the energy sector in order to pursue the proposed fund’s goal of providing “a high level of total return with an emphasis on regular cash distributions.”

Concern about Interest Rates Drives Bond Fund Filings 

Concern about interest rate increases drove filings of floating rate, short duration, and strategic income offerings in April, according to the Strategic Insight data.

Oppenheimer has filed two global/emerging markets bond funds. The Oppenheimer Currency Opportunities fund will seek foreign currency exposure by chiefly investing in foreign short-term fixed income instruments and currency derivatives. It will focus its investments on countries that are U.S. trading partners and usually in currencies that the portfolio manager expects will appreciate relative to the U.S. dollar. The fund may also use derivatives to take on negative exposure to foreign currencies that it expects will depreciate versus the dollar. The second fund, Oppenheimer Emerging Markets Debt, will invest in the sovereign and corporate debt of emerging markets entities.

In addition, the report said MassMutual is readying the PIMCO-subadvised MassMutual Select PIMCO Total Return fund, whose mandate like that of PIMCO’s own $225 billion Total Return portfolio, requires investment primarily in investment-grade securities, and provides the ability to invest up to 30% of fund assets in non-U.S. dollar-denominated securities. The fund expects to normally have an average portfolio duration within +/- two years of that of the Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate Bond Index.  

Goldman Sachs plans to roll out the Goldman Sachs Strategic Income and Goldman Sachs High Yield Floating Rate funds. BlackRock filed the BlackRock Floating Rate Income fund, which, based on current market conditions, expects its entire portfolio to consist of securities rated below investment grade.  

Dreyfus registered a new high quality short-term debt fund designed as a higher-yielding alternative to money market funds—the registration statement filed for the Dreyfus Income Advantage fund indicates it will seek “competitive interest income to the extent consistent with the maintenance of liquidity.” The fund will try to maintain its average dollar-weighted portfolio maturity at or below 120 days.  

Russell Investments proposes to add the Russell Global Bond fund to its fixed income lineup. The planned fund will invest in various “tactical global bond opportunities” including high yield debt, emerging markets debt, corporate debt, government securities (including non-US and emerging markets sovereign debt), and investment grade securities. 

More data from Strategic Insight can be accessed at