Due to ongoing trade and market uncertainty in 2018, ETFs gathered US$503 billion in net flows over the past year (US$66 billion in December 2018), a noticeable decrease of US$135 billion from 2017’s result. Global ETF AUM rose slightly to US$4.828 trillion as of year-end 2018.
In the U.S., equity ETFs garnered US$29 billion of net flows during December, while bond ETFs accumulated $15 billion in net new money. Commodity ETF products added a modest US$0.5 billion in net new cash. Notably, Bond USD-Short Term was the second best-selling category again and accumulated over $14 billion of inflows for the month (US$13 billion in November 2018).
ETFs in Asia surged with US$15 billion of net flows during December, led by Equity Japan and Equity Korea, totalling over US$10 billion together. ETFs in Europe took in a moderate US$4 billion of net new money, mainly driven by US$4.4 billion of net flows into bond products. Meanwhile, equity products in Europe suffered net redemptions of US$1.4 billion.
ICBCCS Shanghai 50 Index ETF Fund was the largest ETF new launch in December, garnering US$1.6 billion in net flows. The ETF tracks the SSE 50 Index and is managed by ICBC Credit Suisse.