BlackRock iShares launches ‘megatrend’ ETF range


BlackRock has launched a range of ‘megatrend’ ETFs that seek to capture returns from themes such as ageing populations and the emergence of robotics.

The iShare ETF suite, which has a total expense ratio of 0.4 per cent, has been created in collaboration with Istoxx and FactSet, with each index holding at least 80 constituents to avoid concentration risk.

Trends include ageing population, healthcare innovation, robotics and automation, and digitalisation.

Tom Fekete, head of product for iShares Emea at BlackRock, says: “These ETFs look to capture the opportunities created by long-term structural trends, by identifying the companies most aligned to them. They are a new set of tools that investors can use to express their views on these trends.”

Jeremy Zhou, head of indexing at FactSet, says: “Identifying specific theme-related industries in a systematic and precise manner has always been a challenge.

By leveraging the FactSet Revere Business Industry Classification System (FactSet RBICS), with its more than 1400 granular industry levels to assign company exposures, STOXX and BlackRock have selected an ideal solution for delivering such precision into the thematic portfolio construction process.”

The iShares Ageing Population UCITS ETF will focus on the needs of the growing population and include health insurance and pharmaceuticals to financials, aged-care and consumer services.

Companies covering drug treatments, patient care or diagnostic tools will be covered by the iShares Healthcare Innovation UCITS ETF, which seeks to exploit the more than £7trn healthcare market.

Robotics manufacturers and wearable technology will be covered in the iShares Automation & Robotics UCITS ETF, with BlackRock anticipating 45 per cent of current global work activities could be automated using existing technology.

The iShares Digitalisation UCITS ETF will focus on cybersecurity, electronic payment processes and financial technology.