GLOBAL - AXA Investment Managers has transferred the operational management of the remaining 22 ETFs in the EasyETF range to BNP Paribas Asset Management.

The EasyETF range had been run as a joint venture between BNP Paribas and AXA since it was launched in 2005 but itwill now be managed by a single team within Sigma, BNP Paribas's index-tracking, structured products and risk allocation department.

As at 30 April 2009, the 22 ETFs represented €1.3bn-worth of assets, taking the total assets in the EasyETF range to €3.4bn.

The bank estimated that around 90% of the value is held by institutional investors while officials said ETFs have become increasingly popular during 2009, as investors turned to simpler products in preference to structured funds because of the financial downturn.

Officials cited the funds' accessibility, liquidity and the fact they are easy to understand as attractive to investors.

The EasyETF range tracks commodities, real estate, sector, credit and infrastructure.

The 57 funds include 19 equity trackers, 11 trackers on thematic indices, 10 sector trackers, and two trackers on listed real estate, while other funds track double short indices, money markets, sovereign bonds, credit derivatives and commodity tracker futures indices.

Nearly all - 54 products - are listed on Euronext Paris, while there are 10 on the Deutsche Borse, seven on Borsa Italiana, two on the Swiss Stock Exchange and one on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Annual management charges on BNP's service vary from between 15 and 30 basis points for fixed income tracker ETFs and 25 basis points upwards for equities.

The transfer is expected to be completed this year, following regulatory approval in France and Luxembourg.

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