State Street Corp., the second-largest provider of exchange-traded funds worldwide, is seeking to counter its biggest rivals’ dominance of emerging-market stock ETFs with a fund that excludes Brazil, Russia, India and China, known as the BRIC nations.
State Street asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for permission to open the SPDR MSCI Beyond BRIC ETF, according to a regulatory filing dated yesterday from the Boston-based firm. The ETF would invest in developing-market stocks in Chile, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Indonesia, South Africa and Turkey, among others.
“This would allow investors to get more exposure to some of the smaller, potentially higher-growth areas of the market,” Todd Rosenbluth, director of ETF and mutual fund research at S&P Capital IQ in New York, said in a telephone interview.
The new product would expand State Street’s offerings in an area dominated by two ETFs from Vanguard Group Inc. and BlackRock Inc., which hold a combined $84.6 billion, or 83 percent of all money in U.S. registered emerging-market equity ETFs that don’t use leverage, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. State Street’s top entry in the category is the $749 million SPDR S&P Emerging Markets SmallCap ETF.
U.S.-based emerging-market ETFs have lost $20.7 billion, or about 17 percent of assets, this year as investors have withdrawn from funds and the value of their holdings has declined. The $50 billion Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF, the industry’s largest, has dropped 15 percent in value this year.
BRIC stocks account for 50 percent and 42 percent of assets in Vanguard’s and BlackRock’s largest emerging market ETFs, respectively, according to company websites.
State Street would be the second provider to open a non-BRIC emerging-market ETF. Emerging Global Advisors LLC in Ridgewood, New Jersey, opened the $10.2 million EGShares Beyond BRICs ETF in August 2012.
Elizabeth Bartlett, a spokeswoman for State Street, said the company wouldn’t comment on the proposed product while it’s under review by regulators.