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Thursday, July 9, 2009

ALPS Unveils its Second ETF

News summary by MFWire's editors

ALPS Advisors just launched its second ETF. The Equal Sector ETF officially debuted Thursday, and it features a fund-of-funds structure designed to track the Bank of America Securities-Merrill Lynch Equal Sector Weight Index. The fund, which comes with an expense ratio of 55 basis points, owns equal weights of the nine Select Sectors SPDR ETFs and rebalances on a quarterly basis.

"We are very pleased to be launching the first Equal Sector ETF and will continue to bring innovative solutions to the ETF industry that will help investors build better portfolios," said Tom Carter, president of ALPS Advisors, in a news release.

In May of last year, ALPS rolled out its debut ETF, the Cohen & Steers Global Real Estate ETF.

Two months ago, ALPS filed papers with the SEC to launch five ETFs: Commodity Producers Composite, Agricultural Producers, Energy Producers, Industrial Metals Producers and Precious Metals Producers.

Company Press Release

ALPS Launches Equal Weight Sector ETF

DENVER -ALPS is very pleased today to announce the launch of the first Equal Sector ETF, trading under the ticker symbol EQL. The Fund is an ETF of ETFs and will seek to track the performance of the Banc of America Securities – Merrill Lynch Equal Sector Weight Index by owning each of the nine Select Sector SPDR ETFs in equal weights1. The nine Select Sector SPDR ETFs will be rebalanced back to equal weight on a quarterly basis. “Most equal-weight indexes are based at the stock level,” states ALPS Director of Product Research, Jeremy Held*. “EQL is an important extension of the equal-weight concept in that it addresses sector risk, which we consider to be a much more important and fundamental risk to client portfolios than individual stocks.

“Over the last 30 years the largest annual declines in the S&P 500 have been precipitated by a crash in the market’s largest sector. In 1981 it was Energy stocks. In 2000 it was Technology. Most recently in 2008 it was the Financial sector. An equal sector strategy minimizes the negative impact of any one sector by diversifying over multiple sectors. At the same time by offering meaningful exposure to each sector of the market, it allows investors the ability to participate in market rallies regardless of where they occur.”

While EQL will be the first equal sector ETF, the concept of equal sector investing is not a completely new one. “The Sector SPDR ETFs have been used by both financial advisors and institutional investors to create their own equal sector strategy for years. By offering this strategy in a packaged ETF solution we feel that the advantages of equal sector investing will now be available to a wider range of investors.”

EQL will be the second ETF sponsored by ALPS, who is well-known as a third-party distributor and asset servicing resource to the investment management industry. ALPS is also the sponsor of the Cohen & Steers Global Real Estate ETF (GRI), which was launched in May of 2008. Tom Carter, President of ALPS Advisors, noted that the launch of EQL is an important step for ALPS as it continues to expand its reach in the ETF business, “We are very pleased to be launching the first Equal Sector ETF and will continue to bring innovative solutions to the ETF industry that will help investors build better portfolios.” 

Edited by: Meredith Mazzilli

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