First robotics and automation ETF hits $1bn in assets

Aug 16th, 2017 | By | Category: ETF and Index News

The ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index ETF (Nasdaq: ROBO) recently surpassed $1 billion in assets under management (AUM). Launched in October 2013, the ETF was the first to offer thematic equity exposure to companies involved in the production and use of robotics, automation and related technologies.

First robotics and automation ETF hits $1bn in assets

The ETF currently has 83 constituents involved in activities such as sensing, processing, 3D printing and security.

The ETF tracks the ROBO Global Robotics and Automation Index, offering investors access to the entire value chain of robotics, automation and artificial intelligence.

Travis Briggs, CEO of ROBO Global, commented: “As the index provider to ROBO, we’d like to sincerely thank the investors who have embraced our methodology and placed their trust in our boutique firm. We don’t take that lightly, and that’s why we have assembled the premier robotics investing team and advisory board to singularly focus on this sector and investor return.”

Index components are selected from a proprietary database of companies that derive all or a portion of revenues from robotics, automation and related technologies.

At the quarterly rebalance, the index is comprised of bellwether (40%) and non-bellwether (60%) stocks, with bellwether stocks having approximately double the weight of non-bellwether stocks. Bellwether stocks are companies which derive the majority of their revenues from robotics and automation or are a market share leader.

Non-bellwether stocks are securities that have a distinct segment of their business involved in robotics and automation that is expected to drive revenues higher as such products and/or services expand.

As of 31 July 2017, the fund had returned 10.4% on average per year since inception. North America is the largest geographical weighting in the index with 41% of the weight, followed by Japan with 29%. All other regions have less than a 7% weight in the index. In terms of company size, 51% of the index is made up of mid-cap companies, 26% is made up of small-cap companies and 23% is comprised of large-cap companies.

The fund has a total expense ratio (TER) of 0.95%.

US investors looking for similar thematic ETFs could also try the GlobalX Robotics & Artificial Intelligence ETF (Nasdaq: BOTZ), which was launched in September 2016. BOTZ has $326m in AUM with a TER of 0.68%.

European investors might wish to consider the ROBO Global Robotics and Automation GO UCITS ETF (LON: ROBO), offered by ETF Securities, which tracks the same index as the US-listed ROBO ETF. Also listed in Europe is the iShares Automation & Robotics UCITS ETF (LON: RBOT). ROBO was launched in October 2014 and has AUM of $607 million with a TER of 0.80%. RBOT was launched in September 2016 and has AUM of $692m with a TER of 0.40%.

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