New products and changes introduced over the last week include an emerging markets ETF from State Street that excludes the BRICs; Forward announced the reopening of its Select Income Fund; and Direxion announced that two of its ETFs will track a different index.
In addition, Pacific Life launched the Pacific Income Advantage annuity; Incapital announced its LEOPARDS program; and Jefferson National announced the addition of 23 new investment options to its flat-fee variable annuity.
Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:
1) State Street Announces Beyond BRIC ETF
State Street has announced that its SPDR MSCI EM Beyond BRIC ETF (EMBB) is set to begin trading on Thursday, December 5. EMBB, which seeks to track the performance of the MSCI Beyond BRIC Index, seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, correspond generally to the total return performance of an index based upon the emerging markets of the world, excluding Brazil, Russia, India, and China.
Under normal market conditions, EMBB generally invests substantially all, but at least 80%, of its total assets in the securities comprising the index or in American depositary receipts (ADRs) or global depositary receipts (GDRs) based on securities comprising the Index. The fund employs a sampling strategy, which means SSgA Funds Management, Inc., the advisor to the funds, is not required to purchase all of the securities represented in the Index.
2) Forward Select Income Fund Reopens
Forward Management, LLC has announced the reopening of the Forward Select Income Fund (FSIMX) to new investors. The fund had been soft closed due to inflows and market constraints. It invests in preferred and senior securities in the commercial real estate sector with the goal of high current income and potential modest long-term capital growth.
Since the fund’s soft close on March 30, 2012, certain beneficial conditions have developed in the real estate investment trust (REIT) preferred market, such as improved pricing and positive net new issuance, which will give the fund additional opportunities to pursue its investment objective.
3) Direxion to Transition Two Funds to FTSE China 25 Index
Direxion has announced that on December 12, two of its leveraged ETFs, the Direxion Daily FTSE China Bull 3X Shares (YINN) and Direxion Daily FTSE China Bear 3X Shares (YANG), will track the FTSE China 25 Index. The FTSE China 25 consists of the 25 largest Chinese companies listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange.