Oct. 31, 2003 — The combined assets of the nation’s exchange-traded funds (ETFs) rose to $119.8 billion at the end of September, from $117.3 billion at the end of August, according to data released today by the Investment Company Institute (ICI).

ETF assets totaled $102.1 billion as of year-end 2002.

At the end of September, 115 ETFs were in operation, one more than in the prior month. Of that total, 69 ETFs tracked domestic stock indexes and held assets of $106.2 billion; 41 ETFs tracked international/global equity indexes and held assets of $9.4 billion; and five bond index ETFs held assets of $4.2 billion.

The ICI noted that assets of domestic equity ETFs increased by $1.73 billion, and international equity ETF assets increased by $861 million.

In addition, the value of all ETF shares issued exceeded that of shares redeemed by $4.02 billion. Equity index ETFs experienced a positive net issuance of $4.26 billion, while bond ETFs experienced a negative net issuance of $242 million. Gross issuance of all ETFs increased in September to $10.90 billion from $5.50 billion in August, and redemptions decreased to $6.88 billion from $8.57 billion in August.

Net issuance, which is gross issuance minus redemptions, is roughly equivalent to the unit of net new cash flow that is used for conventional mutual funds.