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ESG and active ETFs dominate impressive growth streak in ETFs, says TrackInsight

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Data from TrackInsight, the ETF analysis platform, shows that ETFs continued their impressive growth streak over January 2020, reaching a new record high of USD7.8 trillion in assets under management.

ESG ETFs, which nearly tripled assets in 2020, continued their growth streak in January rising by USD20 billion (11.5 per cent) to reach a new high of USD194 billion in assets – the 10th consecutive monthly record high. Of this, USD15.7 billion came from new assets making January the largest single-month in history in terms of ESG ETF flows. 

Actively-managed ETFs also succeeded in gathering assets at a trend-busting pace, the firm writes, growing by 6.3 per cent over January. USD13.4 billion of new flows contributed to the segment reaching a new record of USD293 billion in assets.

In contrast, the entire European ETF industry registered growth of USD23 billion over January, with USD17.25 billion of new flows. Delivering a monthly growth rate of just 1.8 per cent, European listed ETFs lagged the North American market which grew 2.9 per cent reaching USD5.82 trillion.

Thematic ETFs once again dominated performance with Cannabis ETFs holding five of the top 10 slots in January. Cannabis stocks have jumped after Democratic leaders under the new Biden administration indicated that they would propose legislation to end the federal prohibition on marijuana, TrackInsight writes.

Anaelle Ubaldino, Head of ETF Research and Investment Advisory at TrackInsight says: “ETFs entered 2020 with incredible momentum and this doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Investors have added over USD90 Billion of new money to ETFs over January and, incredibly nearly 20 per cent of that has been directed towards ESG strategies. Research from TrackInsight indicates that almost half of institutional investors plan to increase their allocation to ESG ETFs this year and so for issuers, competing in ETFs will increasingly be about competing effectively in ESG.”

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