The exchange-traded funds industry continues to boom, as assets under management topped a record $1.29 trillion as of the end of the third quarter of this year, according to the ETF Snapshot: September 2012, from State Street Global Advisors.
Total assets have climbed 22.7% year-to-date through the first three-quarters of 2012, and there were 1,263 ETFs operating in the industry, the report noted.
In September, investors added net assets of $37 billion to ETFs than they withdrew, with emerging markets ETFs and large-cap ETFs attracting $4 billion and $10 billion of inflows, respectively. (For large-cap ETFs, this was a reversal from August, when those ETFs had outflows of $4.4 billion.)
Through the end of September, ETFs have attracted more than $130 billion of inflows—a stunning 68% increase from $77.2 billion the sector showed in year-to-date inflows as of the end of September 2011.
The report continued to show heavy concentration in the market for ETF managers, with the top three—BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard—accounting for 83% of the ETF market.
The three largest ETFs as of the end of September were SPDRs S&P 500 (SPY) with $118.3 billion in assets; SPDRs Gold Shares (GLD) with $75.3 billion; and Vanguard Emerging Markets (VWO) with $57.2 billion. Combined, the assets in three largest ETFs accounted for about one-fifth of the entire market, according to the report.
A spokesperson at State Street Global Advisors did not return requests for comment.