April 27, 2004 — The combined assets of the nation’s exchange-traded funds (ETFs) rose to $161.7 billion at the end of March, from $159.5 billion at the end of February, according to data released by the Investment Company Institute (ICI).

ETF assets totaled $151.0 billion at the end of December 2003.

At the end of March, 134 ETFs were in operation, two more than the prior month. Of that total, 87 ETFs tracked domestic stock indexes and held assets of $135.6 billion; 41 ETFs tracked international/global equity indexes and held assets of $20.1 billion; and six bond index ETFs held assets of $6.1 billion.

The ICI noted that assets of domestic equity ETFs decreased by $668 million, while international equity ETF assets increased by $2.2 billion.

In addition, the value of all ETF shares issued exceeded that of shares redeemed by $3.6 billion. Equity index ETFs experienced a positive net issuance of $3.0 billion, while bond ETFs experienced a positive net issuance of $601 million. Gross issuance of all ETFs increased in March to $14.6 billion from $9.0 billion in February, and redemptions increased to $11.0 billion from $7.0 billion in February.

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.

Below is a list of the five largest ETFs:

ETF Assets

(In billions)

One-Year Returns

Through 3/31/04

S&P Dep Receipts (SPY) $38.17 +35.6%
Nasdaq -100 Trust Ser 1 (QQQ) $22.08 +42.0%
iShares S&P 500 Index Trust (IVV) $6.36 +35.7%
iShares MSCI EAFE Index Tr (EFA) $6.25 +58.1%
DIAMONDS Trust, Series1 (DIA) $6.03 +32.9%

Source: Nuveen.