Robotic ETFs cash in

Dec 1st, 2017 | By | Category: ETF and Index News

Thematic ETFs providing access to companies involved in the manufacture or use of robotics and automation have seen stunning growth in assets under management (AUM) in 2017, fuelled both by large inflows and remarkable returns.

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The two pure-play robotics ETFs on offer in Europe – the ROBO Global Robotics and Automation GO UCITS ETF (ROBO LN) from ETF Securities and the iShares Automation & Robotics UCITS ETF (RBOT LN) from BlackRock – have both seen AUM advance at an extraordinary pace.

ROBO tracks the ROBO Global Robotics and Automation Index, which has risen 42.7% in the year to 30 November. During this time, the ETF has seen its AUM swell from $189 million to over $1 billion, helped by $617m of inflows.

The growth of RBOT has been even more impressive. The fund tracks the iSTOXX FactSet Automation & Robotics Index, which has gained 48.2% year-to-date (YTD). During that period, the assets of RBOT have grown nearly sixteen-fold from a lowly $88m to a whopping $1.4bn thanks to inflows of $1.1bn in 2017 including $220m in November alone.

It is not only Europeans betting on the rise of the robotics; investors in the US are also rushing to invest in the theme. The US-listed ETF that is based on the same ROBO Global index, the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index ETF (ROBO US), started 2017 with $135 million in AUM, reached $1 billion in August and, as of 31 November, has amassed a staggering $1.9bn in assets.

Also listed in the US, the GlobalX Robotics & Artificial Intelligence ETF (BOTZ US) has increased its AUM to $1.4bn from just $450m on 20 September this year despite being only launched just over a year ago, helped by an astonishing 59.4% return of the index it tracks – the Indxx Global Robotics & Artificial Intelligence Thematic Index.

ETF providers have been scrambling to meet demand, with Canada and Australia being the latest places to see new listings for ETFs that track the ROBO Global index.

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