The iShares S&P 500 ETF has become the largest exchange-traded product and index fund in Europe, with $9.2bn in assets under management (AUM).
The US equity fund has surpassed previous market leader Lyxor ETF EuroStoxx 50, which currently has assets of around $8.3bn according to Bloomberg.
iShares says it has seen inflows of more than $1bn into its S&P 500 ETF this year as the fund capitalises on investors' renewed appetite for developed markets.
iShares EMEA head of sales David Gardner says: "With the S&P 500 hitting levels not seen since June 2008, the US has been a particular beneficiary of positive sentiment."
BlackRock's industry reviews for the first two months of this year give some indication of the level of this benefit. The iShares S&P 500 had the greatest positive change in AUM and largest year-to-date net inflows of any individual European fund in both January and February.
The latest ETP research from Deutsche Bank meanwhile has even worse news for Lyxor, placing the Lyxor ETF EuroStoxx 50 down at third place by AUM, behind the ZKB Gold ETF.
According to Deutsche Bank, the Lyxor ETF lost over €200m in assets last week, even as other European developed market ETFs garnered €1.1bn in new money.
US equity ETFs have outperformed their European counterparts across the board so far this year. The latest BlackRock figures show the 479 European equity ETPs domiciled in Europe have gathered less than $2bn net new assets year-to-date, compared to $2.5bn in 85 North American funds.
Gardner, though, argues that the iShares S&P 500 is more than just an automatic recipient of improving sentiment on US equities. He says: "The scale of an ETF is also an important factor, because highly liquid products enable investors to buy and sell with minimal market impact and achieve tighter spreads when they trade.
"We have 16 official exchange liquidity providers making markets in the fund on different exchanges across Europe which also ensures liquidity."
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