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Blog Posts — June 22, 2022

First thematic futures at Eurex launch new avenue for booming investment segment

Futures on three STOXX thematic indices from Qontigo started trading on Eurex on June 20, breaking new ground in one of the most popular investment segments of recent years. 

The contracts track the STOXX® Global Breakthrough HealthcareSTOXX® Global Digitalisation and STOXX® Global Digital Security and mark the first-ever listing of derivatives following investable themes at Eurex, one of the world’s largest derivatives exchanges. The underlying indices are part of the STOXX Thematics suite, designed to target the beneficiaries of long-term structural trends transforming our modern economies and societies. 

“We are excited to have taken part in this new milestone in thematic investing, a segment that continues to amass investor interest,” said Sean Smith, Head of Global Derivatives Licensing at Qontigo. “We look forward to expanding the possibilities further for investors who seek targeted exposures to disruptive megatrends, and to working together with Eurex in growing this space.” 

Record inflows

Thematic investing continues to capture investors’ imagination as a way to allocate capital in strong economic forces and away from traditional sector and cyclical approaches. In the two years through 2021, assets under management in thematic funds worldwide nearly tripled to USD 806 billion, according to Morningstar1, following record-breaking inflows. Net inflows into thematic ETFs worldwide have continued this year to the tune of USD 39 billion through April2, even as equities have fallen amid rising interest rates.

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For thematic investors, the availability of futures adds an instrument to gain, manage and hedge portfolio exposures with the advantages of a liquid and centrally cleared market. The contracts will specifically complement and support trading of existing ETFs tracking the three indices, as well as facilitate a natural progression for traders of sector derivatives, according to Qontigo’s Smith. Eurex is Europe’s largest exchange in sector-focused derivatives turnover. 

The indices follow a rules-based, revenue-focus approach and also incorporate ESG exclusionary screens that meet the standard sustainability criteria of investors. They are part of a suite that already underlies ETFs managed by BlackRock with more than USD 8.8 billion3 in total assets. For a deeper look into the methodology and constitution of all STOXX Thematic indices, download a dedicated presentation

Further reading:
Market woes bring opportunity to assess virtues of thematic investing
Eurex presentation: STOXX Global Thematic Index Futures

1 Morningstar, ‘Global Thematic Funds Landscape Report,’ March 24, 2022.
2 Data from ETFGI, covering all funds worldwide.
3 Latest data available per fund as of June 9, 2022.