The combined assets of the nation’s exchange-traded funds (ETFs) totalled about $296.0 billion at the end of December 2005, up from the $289.0 billion figure reported at the end of November, according to data released today by the Investment Company Institute (ICI).

Overall, in calendar 2005, ETF assets grew by nearly 31% from the end of December 2004.

At the end of December, 201 ETFs were in operation, five more than in the prior month. Of the total, 146 ETFs tracked domestic stock indexes and held assets of $215.8 billion. Forty-nine ETFs tracked global/international equity indexes and held assets of $65.2 billion. Another six ETFs tracked bond indexes, holding assets of $15.0 billion.

The ICI also noted that assets of domestic equity ETFs increased by $1.7 billion in December, and international equity ETF assets increased by $5.4 billion.

In addition, the value of all ETF shares issued exceeded that of shares redeemed by $5.9 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 12/30/05 (In billions)

One-Year Returns Through 12/30/05 (%)

S&P Depository Receipts (SPY)

$58.5

+4.8

iShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund (EFA)

$22.7

+13.4

Nasdaq-100 Trust Ser 1 (QQQQ)

$20.3

+1.4

iShares S&P 500 Index (IVV)

$14.2

+4.8

iShares MSCI Japan Index (EWJ)

$13.0

+24.7

*Source: Standard & Poor’s.

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