NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- This week, fund sponsor IndexIQ announced that it was closing the doors on three of its funds: the IndexIQ Japan Mid Cap ETF (RSUN) ; the IndexIQ Hong Kong Small Cap ETF (HKK) and the IndexIQ Taiwan Small Cap ETF (TWON) . According to the company's press release, the funds' final day of trading will be Friday, Dec. 23. Those who opt not to sell by this date will have their shares redeemed on Dec. 30.
IndexIQ is an example of a company that has taken a traditional route to gaining entrance into the ETF realm. Rather than following
lead and taking part in the ongoing
ETF price wars
, this firm has opted to launch funds that provide investors with exposure to previously untapped market corners. Thanks to products such as the
IndexIQ Hedge Multi-Strategy Tracker ETF
, and RSUN, the company has become known in the ETF realm as a pioneer for both hedge-fund mimicking and style-focused international exchange-traded products.
Unfortunately, as we see from this recent closure announcement, it takes more than a good idea to get a new ETF off the ground.
and become a fan on
During their short lives, all three of the funds now slated for execution have struggled to gain investor interest. As of the end of last week, none boast an average trading volume over 4,000. This scant interest has stifled the growth of these products. HKK and RSUN have been available since the opening half of 2011. However, Morningstar notes that during this period, the funds have accumulated only $1.4 million and $1.8 million in total assets, respectively. TWON, which has been actively trading since early 2010, has amassed $2.0 million in assets.
With the shuttering of this trio, the lineup of products comprising IndexIQ's style-focused international ETF suite will be reduced to four. In addition to RSUN, TWON and HKK, the firm also manages small-cap funds focused on Canada, Australia, South Korea, and the broad emerging markets. The longevity of these products is questionable as well, however. Like the three products on the chopping block, the surviving foursome has struggled to gather steam in the past.
The firm has also filed paperwork for products linked to nations such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore.
Looking ahead, it will be interesting to see if another fund company will step in to fill the gap left vacant by the exit of these IndexIQ funds. With Europe still mired in economic woes, Asia has become a popular destination for investors looking to construct a safe international portfolio. Individuals can currently gain ample access to the Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japanese marketplaces using veteran, large-cap focused products such as the
iShares MSCI Hong Kong Index Fund
iShares MSCI Taiwan Index Fund
iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund
iShares S&P Asia 50 Index Fund
may be another product worth keeping on the radar. Designed as an alternative for those hesitant to jump into single-nation ETFs, AIA targets 50 of the largest and most recognizable companies hailing from across this corner of the globe. The fund's top holdings include
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing
Hyundai Motor Company
AIA's unique investing strategy is attractive. However, the fund warrants caution: With an average trading volume under 50,000, the fund remains vulnerable to liquidity issues.
At the time of publication, Dion Money Management was long EWJ.