EUROPE - State Street Global Advisors (SSgA) is planning to launch a sectoral healthcare equity fund in a joint venture with ABP that will target the pharmaceutical, biotech and medtech industries.

The strategy will focus on the "growth drivers" of demographics, science and technology, aiming to take advantage of low sector valuations.

The fund will invest in blue-chip companies based North America (53%), Europe (38%) and Asia and the rest of the world (9%).

The manager - Sectoral Asset Management, a company solely focused on running global healthcare portfolios - will have the power to use derivatives, but be unable to borrow money or use derivatives to create leverage.

SSgA is also lining up a global managed volatility fund that will aim to deliver strong returns over full market cycles.

The fund will aim to achieve low beta and low total volatility relative to the global equity market while minimising downside risk.

Both funds have Luxembourg approval, although no dates have been set for their launch.

Meanwhile, SSgA has also renamed streetTRACKs - its France-domiciled ETF range - to align with its global SPDR range.

All 13 of the ETFs, which currently trade on the NYSE Euronext, will be rebranded.

The company said it would also lower total expense ratios for the range, as well as improve liquidity.

SSgA said it was seeking to bring the range - currently registered in France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the UK - to other selected jurisdictions.

Vin Bhattacharjee, head of EMEA Intermediary Business, said SPDR enjoyed a strong heritage as an "ETF pioneer" and that the rebranding was the first step of a European expansion.

He added: "We anticipate seeking regulatory approval to cross-list these funds on stock exchanges in key European markets."