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Thursday, October 25, 2007

ProShares Shorts the Globe

News summary by MFWire's editors

ProShares has introduced the first short international ETFs to the market. Two of the six new funds dropped onto the AMEX today; the other four are slated for release in November.

ProShares, the fastest-growing ETF provider this year, announced today the launch of the first-ever short international ETFs, designed to go up when a foreign market goes down. ProShares, the nation’s only short and magnified-exposure ETFs, recently crossed $9 billion in assets under management.

The six new ProShares, each to be listed on the American Stock Exchange, are:

UltraShort MSCI EAFE
Short MSCI Emerging Markets
UltraShort MSCI Emerging Markets
UltraShort MSCI Japan
UltraShort FTSE/Xinhua China 25

The Short and UltraShort MSCI EAFE ProShares launched today; the remaining four are slated for release in November. After these launches, the Short ProShares lineup—providing short exposure to a wide range of domestic and international markets, capitalization sizes and investment styles—will number 35.

These launches follow ProShares breaking though $9 billion in assets under management after a significant market drop on Friday October 19. Initially launched in June 2006, ProShares had the most successful first year of any ETF company in history.1

“The dramatic acceptance of ProShares has been fueled by investors looking to go beyond the basics and expand the strategies they employ in their portfolios. Shorting strategies have been used by serious investors such as institutions and hedge funds for years,” said ProShares Chairman and CEO Michael Sapir. “By introducing short ETFs to the marketplace—first on domestic market indexes and now on international—we have opened up opportunities for more investors to use short strategies to manage risk or to seek to benefit from market declines.”

Short and UltraShort ProShares offer many advantages over shorting baskets of stocks, individual stocks or ETFs. Investors can achieve short exposure without opening a margin account—buying short exposure is as convenient and simple as purchasing an individual stock. In addition, investors can lose only the amount that they invest, whereas when they short stocks, stock baskets or ETFs, their losses are theoretically unlimited. Moreover, these ETFs can be employed in vehicles that do not permit margin accounts—IRAs for instance. And finally, these ETFs can easily be tracked throughout the day.

Investors seeking to hedge gains should understand that they may need to make adjustments to their holdings to maintain a specific level of short exposure over time. Also, the funds have fees, expense and tax consequences of their own. These short ETFs are structured to provide the inverse of the daily performance of the market indexes that they track; that is, if MSCI EAFE declines by 1% in a day, the Short MSCI EAFE ProShares should gain 1%; if the index goes up by 1% in a day, the ETF should lose an equal amount. The UltraShort ProShares are designed to deliver twice the inverse of daily performance; in the above instance, where MSCI EAFE declined by 1% in a day, the UltraShort MSCI EAFE ProShares should appreciate by 2% and if the benchmark rose by 1%, the ETF should decline by 2%.

About ProShares and ProFunds Group

ProShares are the only ETFs that provide built-in short or magnified exposure to a variety of well-known indexes. The new additions will bring the firm’s total offerings to 58. ProShares is part of the $16 billion ProFunds Group, which also includes more than 60 ProFunds mutual funds. Since 1997, ProFunds has provided mutual fund investors with easier access to sophisticated investment strategies, with offerings that include mutual funds that seek to magnify daily index performance and funds that seek to increase in value when markets decline. ProFunds Group describes the portfolio managers common to ProFund Advisors LLC, advisor to ProFunds mutual funds, and ProShare Advisors LLC, advisor to ProShares ETFs. JPMorgan Worldwide Securities Services provides a full range of ETF services to ProShares including fund accounting and administration, transfer agency and custody.

All investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. Short ProShares should lose value when their market indexes rise and they entail certain risks, including, in some or all cases, aggressive investment technique, inverse correlation, leverage, market price variance and short sale risks, all of which can increase volatility and decrease performance. ProShares are not diversified investments. Investment in smaller companies and narrowly focused investments, including single country funds, typically exhibit higher volatility. International investments may also involve risk from unfavorable fluctuation in currency values, differences in generally accepted accounting principles and economic or political instability. In emerging markets, all these risks are heightened, and lower trading volumes may occur.

Carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses of ProShares and ProFunds before investing. This and other information can be found in their prospectuses. Read the prospectus(es) carefully before investing. For a ProShares ETF prospectus, visit www.proshares.com and seek advice from you financial advisor or broker dealer representative. Financial professionals can also call 866-PRO-5125. For a ProFunds mutual funds prospectus, call 888-PRO-FNDS (individual investors) or 888-PRO-5717 (financial professionals) or visit www.profunds.com. Read the prospectus(es) carefully before investing.

ProShares ETFs are distributed by SEI Investments Distribution Co, which is not affiliated with any ProFunds Group affiliate. ProFunds Distributors, Inc. is distributor for ProFunds mutual funds.

MSCI, Morgan Stanley Capital International and MSCI Index are service marks of MSCI. FTSE/Xinhua China 25 is a trademark of FTSE/Xinhua Index Limited (“FXI”). All have been licensed for use by ProShares. “FTSE®” is a trademark of the London Stock Exchange PLC and The Financial Times Limited and is used by FXI under license. “Xinhua®” is a trademark of Xinhua Finance Limited and is used by FXI under license. ProShares have not been passed on by these entities or their affiliates as to their legality or suitability. ProShares are not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by these entities or their affiliates, and they make no representation regarding the advisability of investing in these products. THESE ENTITIES AND THEIR AFFILIATES MAKE NO WARRANTIES AND BEAR NO LIABILITY WITH RESPECT TO PROSHARES.

¹ According to FRC, the total assets in ProShares ETFs after the first 12 months of operation were more than any other ETF provider's assets after its first 12 months of operation. 

Edited by: Erin Kello

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