ETF & ETP Statistics 2020: Sustainability, thematic ETFs and cryptocurrencies in investor focus

Release date: 21 Jan 2021 | Deutsche Börse Cash Market

ETF & ETP Statistics 2020: Sustainability, thematic ETFs and cryptocurrencies in investor focus

Invested assets in the ETF segment rise to €788.1 billion / Xetra Europe's leading exchange for sustainable ETFs

The shift towards passive investments via exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and exchange-traded products (ETPs) continued to rise in 2020. As reported by Deutsche Börse in its annual trading statistics, the assets under management of ETFs listed on its Xetra exchange reached a record level of €788.1 billion at the end of the year (2019: €709.8 billion).

Three main trends can be identified based on the development in the past year: The continuing strong increase in demand for sustainable ETFs, a high level of investor interest in thematic investments and a high demand for new products related to the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

“The range of sustainable ETFs continues to grow, and more and more investors are turning to the sustainable version of an established benchmark index,” explains Stephan Kraus, Head of Deutsche Börse's ETF segment. “Last year saw the first ETFs based on the Paris Climate Agreement and the first multi-asset ETFs with an ESG focus.” In total, 251 products classified as ESG ETFs were available to investors on Xetra at year-end (2019: 149). Turnover in ESG ETFs increased to €12.2 billion, up 289% year-on-year (2019: €3.1 billion).

Furthermore, the interest in innovative themes continued in 2020. The highest-turnover products in this area included ETFs on clean energy with €1.35 billion (2019: €92.1 million), automation & robotics with €1.13 billion (2019: €665.5 million), cyber security with €799.5 million (2019: €366.2 million), Healthcare Innovation with €668.2 million (2019: €111.7 million).

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin also saw a high level of investor interest. Since last year, physically backed exchange traded notes (ETNs) on Xetra have enabled investors to participate in the performance of Bitcoin. At times, Bitcoin ETNs were among the most traded products in Deutsche Börse's ETF & ETP segment. “The listing of the world's first centrally cleared Bitcoin ETNs on Xetra has increased the attractiveness of crypto investments especially for institutional investors,” says Kraus. Thanks to central clearing, investors benefit from significantly reduced risks in the settlement of transactions. “Investors can now participate in the price development of Bitcoin, without the need of a wallet infrastructure on an unregulated crypto platform,” Kraus continues.

Overall, the number of ETFs tradable on Xetra reached a new high of 1,618 at the end of the year (2019: 1,505), as did the trading volume of €197.5 billion (2019: €127.4 billion) and the 14.5 million orders executed of (2019: 7.5 million). This makes Xetra the leading exchange for ETFs in Europe.

More facts and figures can be found in the ETF Statistics 2020.

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