Trends in listings and value traded of ETFs (Jan-Aug 2017)

By: The WFE Research Team Sep 2017

This article looks at the listings and value traded of ETFs in the first 8 months of 2017 when compared to the same period in 2016, based on data received from 45 exchanges.

The total number of ETFs listed in August 2017 was 10 347, a 5.8% increase in listings on August 2016. The largest increase of 13.6% was observed in the Asia-Pacific region. The region accounts for a relatively smaller share of 12.5% in global ETF listings. The Americas and EMEA regions also saw the number of ETFs listed in Aug’17 increase by 4.2% and 5.1% on Aug’16.

Number of ETFs listed


ETF listings - Regional shares


The overall trading value of ETFs in the Jan-Aug period of 2017 declined by 12.9% on the same period in 2016. This decline was due to a decline in the value traded in all three regions. The Americas account for a bulk of the overall value traded (89%) and hence were the key drivers of this trend (down 12.9%). The decline was primarily a reflection of the decline on the US based exchanges, which account for 87% of the value traded in the Americas. The decline in value traded in the Asia-Pacific region was almost entirely driven by the Japan Stock Exchange. In the EMEA region, value of ETF trading declined on several venues. While the EMEA region accounts for 59% of the total ETFs listed, it accounts for only 5.4% of the total value traded, indicating trading activity and valuation of the ETFs in the region.

It is interesting to note the contrasting trend between listings and value traded. Although the number of ETFs listed in all the regions was up reflecting a growing market presence of passive investment vehicles like ETFs, the value traded has declined, indicating investor preferences in the current market environment.

This declining trend could to a certain extent be explained by the low market volatility since the beginning of 2017. Some of the most widely traded ETFs track market indices and the low volatility in the markets have given traders few opportunities to ride momentum or make short-term bets. July 2017 in particular recorded the lowest value of ETF trading in the 16-month period under review.

Value traded(USD million) Jan-Aug'16 Jan-Aug'17 % change
Americas 12 405 165 10 810 220 -12.9%
Asia-Pacific 812 981 668 890 -17.7%
EMEA 701 971 651 014 -7.3%
Total 13 920 117 12 130 124 -12.9%

Total value traded - ETFs (USD billion)


Value traded (ETFs) – Regional shares