BNP Paribas launches eight metals and energy sector ETCs on Xetra

May 12th, 2017 | By | Category: Commodities

BNP Paribas has launched eight new ETCs, tracking the performance of futures contracts from the metals and energy sectors, on Deutsche Börse’s Xetra and Frankfurt exchanges. Through these ETCs, investors may gain exposure to gasoline (petrol), precious and industrial metals, energy, natural gas, gas oil, heating oil and WTI oil.

BNP Paribas launches eight metals and energy sector ETCs on Xetra

BNP Paribas launches eight metals and energy sector ETCs on Xetra

The US dollar-denominated ETCs track indices from the Rogers International Commodity Index family, originally created by American businessman and investor Jim Rogers, whose pioneering index, the Rogers International Commodity Index, was designed to meet the need for consistent investing in commodities through a broad-based international vehicle.

The indices follow the performance of futures contracts with varying maturities. By utilising futures to obtain exposure, investors are able to avoid the storage and transportation costs associated with direct physical investment in a commodity.

The limited maturity of futures contracts requires that soon-to-expire contracts be sold and the proceeds reinvested into futures contracts with an expiry date further in the future. This process is known as rolling over the contract.

Traditional passive investments tracking commodity indices gain exposure via investment in the nearest dated futures contract or front month contract. This strategy has recently shown its limits with steep contango curves (where the forward price of the front month contract is trading well above the spot price). Investors may realise a negative roll return as they sell their cheaper contracts to buy more expensive ones.

RICI indices attempt to navigate this issue by ‘optimising’ their rollover strategy. One such method of doing this is to invest further down the curve, in longer dated contracts where the contango effect is usually less pronounced – the curve is flatter and hence the roll returns less negative over time. By rolling the contracts over less frequently, these strategies minimise the traditionally high compounding costs of monthly rollovers.

Research from European ETF provider Source highlights the benefit of adopting an optimised rolling strategy compared to ETFs that strictly invest in front-month futures contracts. (See: Source highlights benefits of roll-optimised “second generation” commodity ETFs)

RICI Indices roll over their contracts twice a year, buying contracts expiring in June or December only. This removes some of the short term risk in a futures based index.

Due to the low correlation of commodities with other major asset classes, the ETCs may suit investors looking to diversify their portfolios. The addition of commodities to a traditional stock/bond portfolio has historically made portfolios more ‘efficient’ by enhancing return for each level of risk.

Each ETC has a total expense ratio of 0.99%.

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