RIMES, a leader in managed data services, has flagged the challenges presented by the European Securities and Markets Authority’s (ESMA) consolidated guidelines on ETFs and other UCITS issues to investment managers throughout Europe.
Continual product innovation and sophisticated investment techniques in the UCITS funds market has continued to focus the regulators’ attention on these structures, and as a result ESMA's new guidelines on ETFs and other UCITS came into effect in February.
While the guidelines seek to strengthen investor protection, mitigate counterparty risk and increase transparency and disclosure to investors, they also have a major impact on managers of UCITS, ETFs and particularly index-tracking UCITS.
RIMES offers all the data, technology and expertise to enable UCITS managers to become more efficient at all aspects of index management, including sourcing, managing, validating, storing and distributing data throughout the enterprise.
Andrew Knowles, Head of Compliance Services at RIMES commented: “The reporting and disclosure requirements in ESMA’s recent guidelines are wider reaching and far more daunting than anticipated by many within the industry.
“Among the requirements, firms managing UCITS must access and reference in their fund documentation links to constituent level data along with security weights for any UCITS funds investing in financial indices and not only index tracking UCITS as originally foreseen. RIMES can help UCITS managers meet the detailed requirements of the guidelines without a major investment in technology or people.”
To help UCITS managers understand the impact of the ESMA financial index guidelines on their business operations, RIMES has put together a factsheet which can be accessed by clicking on the following link:http://www.rimes.com/sites/default/files/ucitsfactsht_2ppus_03f.pdf 
SPDR ETFs, the ETF platform of State Street Global Advisors (SSgA), announced this week the launch of two new ETFs on the Deutsche Borse: the SPDR S&P Global Dividend Aristocrats UCITS ETF and the SPDR S&P Pan Asia Dividend Aristocrats UCITS ETF.
The two new physically-backed ETFs extend the equity dividend family available from SPDR ETFs. This includes: the SPDR S&P US Dividend Aristocrats UCITS ETF (now the largest dividend ETF in Europe following its launch in October 2011 with over USD1billion in AuM); the SPDR S&P UK Dividend Aristocrats UCITS ETF; the SPDR S&P Euro Dividend Aristocrats UCITS ETF, and the SPDR S&P Emerging Markets Dividend Opportunities UCITS ETF.
The SPDR S&P Global Dividend Aristocrats ETF provides investors with a single investment with exposure to dividend paying stocks in both developed and emerging markets. The SPDR S&P Pan Asia Dividend Aristocrats ETF, meanwhile, aims to provide investors with exposure to high quality dividends in Asia Pacific as well as providing investment opportunities for those who manage asset allocation regionally.
Scott Ebner, head of global product development at SSgA, commented: “High dividend yielding stocks can be an attractive solution for providing income and capital appreciation potential in an investors portfolio, especially in this low yield environment.
“Our approach to dividend investing at SPDR has been centered around indices that not only favour high yielding stocks, but also focus on the sustainability of yield by incorporating objective criteria such as a company’s track record of paying stable or increasing dividends and earnings criteria to include stocks that are more likely able to continue to deliver dividend income.”
Kames Capital has decided to shutter its Dublin-domiciled Global Opportunities fund following a strategic review of its fixed income products reported Citywire Global this week. The fund was managed by Olaf van der Heuvel since it launched in December 2009 and as is characteristic of global macro strategies, had the ability to go long and synthetically short across all major asset classes.
UCITS attracted EUR38billion in net inflows in March according to the latest Investment Fund Industry Fact Sheet by the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA). This figure is down slightly on the EUR44billion in net inflows recorded for February, and is largely attributable to a turnaround in net inflows into money market funds. These experienced net outflows of EUR2billion, compared to net inflows of EUR4billion recorded in February. Bond funds saw a slight increase in net sales to EUR15billion, up from EUR13billion in February, while net inflows into equity funds fell from EUR14billion to EUR9billion. Total assets in UCITS stood at EUR6.697trillion at the end of March, marking a 2.3 per cent month on month. In addition, total non-UCITS recorded net sales of EUR18billion, up from EUR12billion in February.
Commenting on these latest figures, Peter de Proft, Director General of EFAMA, said:“Despite renewed uncertainties caused by the bail-out package for Cyprus, total net sales of UCITS and non-UCITS remained in March at the same high level as in February, highlighting investor confidence about investment prospects.”