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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

First Trust To Add More ETFs

Reported by Armie Margaret Lee

First Trust Advisors is looking to broaden its lineup of exchange traded funds. The Lisle, Illinois-based firm, which on Wednesday launched its second ETF on the American Stock Exchange, aims to add over 10 ETFs in the coming months, according to a company official.

"We plan to have 15 to 20 ETFs by the end of the year," Dan Waldron, vice president for exchange traded funds at First Trust, said at a press briefing.

Of the planned offerings, six are currently in registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Waldron said.

The newly launched fund, which trades under the ticker symbol "FDL," seeks to mimic the performance of Morningstar Dividend Leaders Index. The index is made up of the 100 highest dividend-yielding stocks that have a consistent history of paying dividends and the ability to sustain dividends going forward.

What sets the index apart from others is that it weights the stocks in proportion to the dividends available to investors, said Sanjay Anya, director of Morningstar Indexes.

The rollout of the First Trust Morningstar Dividend Leaders Index Fund came six months after First Trust unveiled its first ETF offering, the First Trust Dow Jones Select MicroCap Index Fund, which also trades on the Amex. 

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