New products and changes introduced over the last week include State Street Global Advisors’ changes to the SPDR lineup and rebalancing of the SSGA Gender Diversity Index. In addition, Commerzbank added AxiomXL’s platform for compliance.
Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:
1) SSGA Changes SPDR Lineup, Rebalances Index
State Street Global Advisors has changed the name and index for its SPDR Russell Small Cap Completeness ETF (RSCO). It has been renamed the SPDR S&P 1000 ETF (SMD) and has begun tracking the S&P 1000 Index. Its annual gross expense ratio of 0.10% remains unchanged.
Also, the name of the SPDR S&P 500 Fossil Fuel Free ETF (SPYX) has been changed to SPDR S&P Fossil Fuel Reserves Free ETF, and the gross and net expense ratios have been changed for the SPDR Russell 2000 ETF (TWOK) from 0.12% to 0.10%.
SSGA also made annual rebalancing updates to the composition of the SSGA Gender Diversity Index. The top 10 companies added to the index as a result of the annual rebalance, according to index weighting, include Pfizer Inc., PepsiCo, 3M, Mastercard, Starbucks, DuPont, Biogen, Salesforce, Target and Kroger Co.
2) Commerzbank Adds AxiomXL
Regulatory reporting and risk management solutions firm AxiomXL is providing SEC 15c3-1 as well as other regulatory mandates such as the Financial and Operational Combined Uniform Single (FOCUS), Treasury International Capital (TIC), Off Balance Sheet reporting (OBS) and additional U.S. broker-dealer-based reports for Commerzbank.
The user-configurable platform enables business analysts to configure reporting logic without a requirement for traditional programming skills. In addition, AxiomSL’s platform interfaces with Commerzbank’s existing data sources, without any data conversion.
3) U.S. Halal Fixed Income Fund Tops $100 Million in Assets
Azzad Asset Management says the first halal (Islamically accepted) fixed income fund in the United States crossed the $100 million threshold in August. The interest-free alternative to bond funds, the Azzad Wise Capital Fund (WISEX) was launched in 2010.
In accordance with the internationally recognized standards for halal investing, WISEX aims to produce a return that is comparable to that of bank accounts and other financial instruments without dealing in interest. By investing primarily in sukuk and Islamic bank deposits it provides a viable fixed-income investment option that also contributes to global societal development, according to Azzad.
“We are grateful to our shareowners who have validated the notion that people and profits can go hand in hand,” said Azzad Vice President Jamal Barmil, in a statement “Focused on community development and poverty alleviation, WISEX is an active force for good in the world, in addition to being an important investment option for everyone from impact investors to observant Muslims.” Barmil is also a co-portfolio manager for the fund.
In 2 014, Azzad hired Federated Investment Management Company, a unit of Federated Investors, to serve as a sub-advisor for the Azzad Wise Capital Fund. In February of 2016, Azzad said WISEX would participate in a series of syndicated ethical trade finance deals arranged by the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC).
The Azzad Wise Capital Fund also invests in Islamic banks and U.S.-dollar denominated investment grade sukuk or “Islamic bonds,” financial instruments issued to obtain an upfront payment in exchange for an income stream generated from tangible assets or services, often through leasing.
According to Azzad, a major distinction between conventional bonds and sukuk is that the latter are linked to an asset, allowing investors to be equity stakeholders. In July, it was reported that JP Morgan would include sukuk in its emerging market indices beginning in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Read the Aug. 29 Portfolio Products Roundup at ThinkAdvisor.