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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

WSJ Notes ETNs' Fall from Favor

by: Armie Margaret Lee

In Tuesday's Wall Street Journal Fund Track, Shefali Anand writes that assets in exchange-traded notes have dropped to $3.9 billion from their June peak of $7.3 billion, with investors yanking 16 percent of assets during the past two months while the rest of the decline stems from market losses.

Trouble started brewing when currencies and commodities markets began falling in the summer. Then came September, and ETNs were dealt a huge blow when Lehman Brothers Holdings filed for bankruptcy. (Lehman earlier this year rolled out ETNs to track commodities and a private equity index.)

Anand notes that no new ETNs were launched after August (sixty-four were rolled out through June, almost triple the number for all of 2007, followed by three in August). But the drought may not last long, as some issuers, including Barclays and Deutsche Bank, remain optimistic about ETN prospects. Barclays, in fact, plans to unveil new products in the next couple of months. 

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