European exchange-traded funds and products top $539bn in July

 
Oliver Gill
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(FILES) Traders work on the floor at the
ETFs can be bought and sold on exchanges similar to ordinary shares (Source: Getty)

Assets under management at Europe's exchange-traded funds and products were at all-time highs at the end of July after being boosted by strong inflows and market gains.

Growing by $9.4bn (£7.2bn) in July, assets totalled $539bn and were spread across over two thousand different European-listed exchanged-traded funds (ETF) and products (ETP).

ETFs are usually index-tracking instruments whose value is linked to the value of the underlying investments – similar to unit trusts and open-ended investment funds.

But they have the added flexibility of being traded on exchanges, meaning that they can be bought and sold on an intra-day basis in a similar way to standard stocks and shares.

Read more: ETF market set to more than double in size by 2021

They are popular for investors looking to gain broad exposure to markets and have historically attracted a lower management fee compared to traditional investment funds.

The increase in July represented the 22nd consecutive month of inflows, but was the best on record during 2016.

"Investor confidence returned during July after the surprising result of June’s Brexit vote," said Deborah Fuhr of ETFGI, who compiled the figures.

ETFs can invest in a variety of asset classes and bond-based ETFs had the largest amount of subscriptions during the month, with $4.8bn of inflows. Equity funds grew by $2.2bn and ETPs attracted net inflows of £2.6bn.

Read more: Gold, oil and robots: Big trend investing with ETFs

​ETPs have one key difference to ETFs in that they are not open-ended funds – they cannot expand and contract share capital – and can invest in a wider-variety of asset classes including commodities, unsecured debt and private partnerships.

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