By Simon Miller

Fixed income was the fastest growing exchange trade products(ETPs) asset class in 2011 according to the BlackRock Investment Institute.

With global fixed income EPT assets totalling $258bn (£168.4bn) fixed income assets under management (AUM) increased by 24.4% ($50.6bn) compared with 2010.

BlackRock’s year-end ETP landscape report noted that while flows into equity and commodity categories have been up and down throughout the year, fixed income ETPs have “displayed resilience, garnering new flows for every month in 2011 and showcasing the popularity of this asset class in a tumultuous year for global markets”. The category’s expansion was largely driven by US-listed products, with investors in European-listed products remaining on the sidelines due to sovereign and bank debt concerns.

The US remains the largest and most mature market in the ETP industry, with asset growth of 5% in 2011. US ETP assets totaled $1.061trn, representing 69.6% of global AUM. Product offerings grew by 26.7%, with 308 new products launched and 37 de-listed.

European assets ended the year down 5.3% from 2010, totaling $298.5bn - 19.6% of global AUM. Product offerings grew 13.3%, with 258 new products launched and 47 de-listed. European-listed ETPs offering exposure to German equities delivered strong asset gathering results in 2011, representing 97% ($17.3bn) of all flows into equity products listed in Europe during the year.

Asia Pacific (including Japan) assets grew by 8.3% in 2011, and now total $92.6bn. The region now represents 6.1% of global AUM. Product offerings grew 38.5%, with 123 new products launched and three de-listed.

The report also found that the global ETP industry ended the year with $1.525trn in AUM, up 2.9% from $1.482trn at year-end 2010, while net inflows totaled $151.9trn 2011.

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