PowerShares Drops Costs on 6 ETFs

The Chicago-based firm is one of several ETF providers to lower fees in order to attract more investors

Invesco PowerShares said late Thursday that it lowered the expense ratios of six PowerShares ETF portfolios effective Nov. 21. The declines range from 31 to 36 basis points.

“We continuously analyze ways to improve our overall ETF product lineup for investors,” said Ben Fulton, Invesco PowerShares managing director of global ETFs, in a press release. “We believe the lower fees announced today better align the six funds with our existing offerings, and help position the PowerShares family of ETFs for continued growth.”

Fees have been dropping throughout the industry, with BlackRock and Vanguard among the most recent industry players to cut costs and adjust their ETF lineup. In September, Charles Schwab cut ETF fees, some as much as 59%, and Fidelity Investments had waived trading commissions in 2010 and 2011 on a group of ETFs.

For instance, PowerShares’ FTSE RAFI Emerging Markets Portfolio (PAF) now has a total expense ratio of 0.49% vs. 0.85% previously, and the S&P 500 High Quality Portfolio’s (SPHQ) new expense ratio is 0.29%, down from 0.50% before.

Other funds with lower expense ratios are the FTSE RAFI Developed Markets ex-U.S. Portfolio (PXF), FTSE RAFI Asia Pacific ex-Japan Portfolio (PAF), the FTSE RAFI Developed Markets ex-U.S. Small-Mid Portfolio (PDN) and the S&P International Developed High Quality Portfolio (IDHQ).

“To broaden their exposure, investors will often use multiple ETFs within a specific fund category–such as our fundamentals-weighted and factor-driven categories,” explained John Feyerer, head of product strategy & research at Invesco PowerShares, in a statement. “Consistent with this finding, we are lowering fees on our international fundamentals-weighted and high-quality factor-driven ETFs.”

Invesco PowerShares offers 17 fundamentals-weighted ETFs based on the FTSE RAFI Index series, which relies on measures of sales, cash flow, book value and dividends for its component companies.

The company also has 12 factor-driven ETFs, which emphasize the use of an index as well as a specific factor, such as volatility or beta (rather than market capitalization) in order to determine stock selection and weighting.

PowerShares' ETFs had about $74 billion in assets as of Sept 30.

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