Barclay’s is having a special meeting of unitholders, to decide on proposed changes to iUnits ETFs: XIC, XGV, XSP, XIN [pdf]. The most significant proposed change is to have XIC track the S&P TSX Composite rather than the TSX 60 index. Reasons given are:
- More securities and more diversified exposure to large-cap, mid-cap and small-cap stocks improves diversification which helps reduce volatility risk.
- The Composite Index is the most widely used benchmark of Canadian equity performance, which improves investors’ ability to compare results to other Canadian equity funds.
- Offering funds which track the S&P/TSX 60 Index and the S&P TSX Composite Index provides investors in iUnits funds with more choice.
- The increased fee reflects the time, expertise and expense involved in managing a portfolio of over 200 securities versus 60 securities.
XIU, the non-capped S&P TSX60-tracking ETF will still exist, it is only the capped XIC which is being changed.
XGV is becoming more diversified, to include provincial, municipal, and corporate bonds, rather than just Government of Canada bonds. It will now be tracking the Scotia Capital Short Term Bond Index.
XSP (S&P 500 tracker) and XIN (MSCI EAFE International Index tracker) will now be unaffected by exchange fluctuations. I assume this was done because of what happened in the last couple years, where Canadian investors’ in the US indexes were hurt by the falling US dollar in relation to the Canadian dollar (and every other currency for that matter).
We will know on November 15 the outcome of the vote by unitholders on the proposed changes. More detailed information can be found in the information circular.