BlackRock Launches Metaverse ETF
ETF Stream can disclose that BlackRock has introduced a metaverse ETF and a global equities socially responsible investment (SRI) ETF. iShares Metaverse UCITS ETF (MTAV) is traded on Euronext with a total expense ratio (TER) of 0.50%, while iShares MSCI ACWI SRI UCITS ETF (SAWI) is listed on both Euronext and the Deutsche Boerse with a fee of 0.20%.
MTAV follows the STOXX Global Metaverse index, which provides exposure to 65 firms in the digital marketplace, gaming, healthcare, manufacturing, software, hardware, and components. Based on EconSight data, Qontigo chooses the top 10% of firms having High Quality Patents (HQP) in technologies like as 3D image modelling, avatars, blockchain, graphic processing units (GPU), non-fungible tokens (NFT), and virtual, augmented, and extended reality.
The index also eliminates firms engaged in contentious weaponry and those flagged by Sustainalytics as having a “serious” controversy rating for being non-compliant with the Global Standards Screening (GSS). In addition, small weapons and military contracts, fossil fuels, nuclear power, and cigarettes are subject to further scrutiny.
BlackRock’s product strategist for theme and sector ETFs, Omar Moufti, said, “We see the metaverse as the next step forward in global communication and networking. It has the potential to transform numerous industries and processes, as well as every aspect of society, including the way we work, consume, interact, and generate.
SAWI follows the MSCI ACWI SRI index comprising 542 firms from 23 developed and 24 developing economies that score strongly on ESG parameters. Constituents are examined for participation in 17 commercial areas, such as alcohol, gambling, tobacco, adult entertainment, genetically modified organisms (GMO), nuclear power and weapons, and fossil fuels.
In addition, they cannot be in the top 30% of MSCI’s most problematic firms, and they must have an overall MSCI ESG grade of A or above to qualify. The remaining firms are then sorted by their ESG scores, with the top quartile of each industry constituting the final index, which has a carbon intensity that is 55% lower than its parent benchmark.
According to BlackRock, the ETF was created with German individual investors in mind. German investors are the largest consumers of BlackRock’s European ETF savings plans, and over the last three years, 20% of additional assets have flowed into ESG products.
Verena Heming, head digital distribution at BlackRock Germany, said, “SAWI gives German investors access to global equities markets with ESG concerns in a single transaction.
“As German investors extend their usage of ETF savings plans, we anticipate that these plans will become a crucial instrument for capitalising on rising demand for ESG in a diversified manner.”
The two ETFs continue an eventful year of launches for the biggest ETF provider in Europe. In recent months, it launched the iShares Blockchain Technology UCITS ETF (BLKC) in September and the iShares Digital Entertainment and Education UCITS ETF (PLAY) in June, expanding its thematic spectrum.
The company has also expanded its range of ESG ETFs, with the iShares S&P 500 ESG UCITS ETF (ESPX) and the iShares Euro Corp Bond ESG Paris-Aligned Climate UCITS ETF (CBUJ) launching in August and June, respectively.