The combined assets of the nation’s exchange-traded funds (ETFs) totalled $263.8 billion at the end of October, slightly higher than the $259.5 billion reported at the end of September, according to data released today by the Investment Company Institute (ICI).

ETF assets totaled $226.2 billion at the end of December 2004.

At the end of October, 187 ETFs were in operation, eight more than in the prior month. Of that total, 132 ETFs tracked domestic stock indexes and held assets of $196.6 billion. Forty-nine ETFs tracked global/international equity indexes and held assets of $52.8 billion. Another six ETFs tracked bond indexes, holding assets of $14.4 billion.

The ICI also noted that assets of domestic equity ETFs increased by $3.9 billion, and international equity ETF assets increased by $18 million.

In addition, the value of all ETF shares issued exceeded that of shares redeemed by $11.0 billion.

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 as of 10/31/05 (In billions)

One-Year Returns Through 10/31/05 (%)

S&P Dep Receipts (SPY)

$49.6

+8.6

iShares MSCI EAFE Index Tr (EFA)

$20.1

+17.7

Nasdaq-100 Trust Ser 1 (QQQQ)

$19.8

+5.3

iShares S&P 500 Index Trust (IVV)

$13.1

+8.7

iShares MSCI Japan Index Fd (EWJ)

$10.0

+21.3

Contact Bob Keane with questions or comments at: bkeane@investmentadvisor.com.