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Friday, July 05, 2019

ETF Attrition Balloons

News summary by MFWire's editors

ETF attrition has reached never-before-seen levels, dwarfing even mid-financial-crisis closure rates.

Eric Balchunas
Senior ETF Analyst, Funds Product Specialist
58 ETFs liquidated in the first half of 2019, Bloomberg reports. That's the fastest closure rate in ETFs' history, a nearly 32 percent higher than the previous record: 44 ETFs shut down in the first half of 2009. There are now more than 2,000 ETFs in the marketplace.

"So-called zombie funds, which attract little trading activity or investment, are getting hit hard as competition ratchets up in the cutthroat ETF arena," the wire service writes, adding that nearly all of 2019's ETF liquidations were of funds with high expense ratios.

"This particular outbreak in the fee war was the most violent I've ever seen," Eric Balchunas, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, tells the wire service. "It scared a lot of people who might have had ETFs in registration." 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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