25th Anniversary of the listing of the first ETF in Canada

LONDON — March 9, 2015 — Twenty five years ago on March 9th, 1990 the first ETF was listed in Canada on the Toronto Stock Exchange: the TIPs (Toronto 35 Index Participation Fund) tracking the TSX 35 index. The TIPS ETF listed nearly three years before the first ETF the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) was listed in the United States on January 29, 1993.

“Twenty-five years marks an important milestone for the ETF industry which has grown significantly on many measures. ETFs have become a democratic investment tool and solution that are used by institutional investors, financial advisors and retail investors around the world to allow them to easily, transparently and at a lower cost than many other financial gain access to many asset classes and to developed, emerging and frontier markets.” according to Deborah Fuhr, managing partner of ETFGI and independent research and consulting firm based in London.

The global ETF/ETP industry had 5,632 ETFs/ETPs, with 10,902 listings, assets of a record level of US$2.919 trillion in assets, from 245 providers listed on 63 exchanges in 52 countries at the end of February 2015, according to data from ETFGI’s preliminary monthly global ETF and ETP insight report.

At the end of February 2015, the Canadian ETF industry had 355 ETFs, with 502 listings, assets of US$65 billion, from 9 providers listed on the Toronto Stock exchange. Canada accounts for just 2.2% of the assets invested in ETFs/ETPs globally and has been an innovator in the ETF industry listing the first equity, fixed income and currency hedged ETFs to name a few of their firsts.

The TIPS ETF does not exist in its original form as it was merged on March 7, 2000 with the HIPs (Hundred Index Participation Fund) tracking the TSX 100 index into the iUnits S&P/TSE Index Participation Fund (XIU CN): which has been renamed the iShares S&P/TSX 60 Index ETF (XIU CN).


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Note to editors

ETFs are typically open-ended, index-based funds, with active ETFs accounting for less than 1% market share. They can be bought and sold like ordinary shares on a stock exchange and offer broad exposure across developed, emerging and frontier markets, equities, fixed income and commodities. ETFs are used widely by institutional investors and increasingly by financial advisors and retail investors to:

  • equitize cash
  • implement diversified exposure to a market
  • comprise a core or satellite investment
  • be a long term strategic investment
  • implement tactical adjustments to portfolios
  • use as building blocks to create entire portfolios
  • allow investors to hedge the market
  • use as an alternative to futures and other derivative products

Exchange Traded Products (ETPs) are products that have similarities to ETFs in the way they trade and settle but do not use an open-end fund structure. The use of other structures including unsecured debt, grantor trusts, partnerships, and commodity pools by ETPs can, in addition to a significantly different risk profile, create different tax and regulatory implications for investors when compared to ETFs, which are funds.


Established by industry expert Deborah Fuhr and partners, ETFGI is a wholly independent research and consultancy firm providing research and services to firms such as leading global institutional and professional investors, the global exchange traded fund and exchange traded product industry, its Regulators and its advisers. The partners leverage over 30 years of extensive industry experience, unparalleled industry contacts and rigorous analysis to deliver proprietary research on the global ETF and ETP industry.

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