Odds & Ends: 6 Vanguard ETFs to See Share Splits

Plus, iShares added an emerging market bond ETF to its lineup at the end of the week.

Reviewed by: Heather Bell
Edited by: Heather Bell

Despite the shortened trading week, there was significant activity in the exchange-traded fund industry, with seven fund launches and a bevy of changes made to existing funds.  

The most notable changes announced this week were that, as of March 14, Vanguard will enact 2-for-1 share splits on six of its ETFs tied to S&P indexes, essentially meaning that the number of shares for each fund will double, while the individual shares will see their prices cut in half.  

The affected funds and their assets under management are as follows: 


Among the launches was BlackRock rolling out the iShares J.P. Morgan Broad USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF (BEMB), which tracks the JP Morgan EM Sovereign and Corporate Credit Core Index (USD), which debuted today. The index includes only issues denominated in U.S. dollars and that are issued by emerging market governments or corporations. BEMB has an expense ratio of 0.18% and lists on Cboe Global Markets.  

iShares already offers the $15.5 billion iShares J.P. Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF (EMB), which is solely covers emerging market sovereign debt denominated in U.S. dollars. It has an expense ratio of 0.39%, more than twice that of BEMB.  

The FT Cboe Vest U.S. Equity Moderate Buffer ETF – February (GFEB) made its debut on Tuesday. The fund replicates the price performance of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) up to a cap while protecting against losses from the reset date of up to 15%. GFEB currently has a preexpenses cap on its upside performance of 15.2%, with the cap scheduled to reset a year from its launch. GFEB has an expense ratio of 0.85% and lists on Cboe Global Markets. 

Wednesday saw a pair of covered call ESG funds debut from Global X; the new ETFs join the firm’s lineup of covered call strategies, bringing the count to an even dozen. The Global X Nasdaq 100 ESG Covered Call ETF (QYLE) and the Global X S&P 500 ESG Covered Call ETF (XYLE) implement strategies that write covered calls on their reference indexes, the Nasdaq-100 ESG Index and the S&P 500 ESG Index, respectively. 

The reference indexes both apply traditional ESG criteria and scoring systems to their associated parent indexes. These are the first ETFs to pair covered call strategies with an ESG investment approach. Each fund has an expense ratio of 0.60%, with QYLE listing on the Nasdaq stock exchange and XYLE lists on the NYSE Arca.  

Also launching on Wednesday were a pair of leveraged and inverse exchange-traded notes under the MicroSectors brand. The MicroSectors Gold -3X Inverse Leveraged ETN (DULL) and the MicroSectors Gold 3X Leveraged ETN (SHNY) offer 3X inverse and leveraged exposure to the performance of the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), the largest physical gold ETF in the world. Both ETNs have an expense ratio of 0.95% and list on the NYSE Arca.  


A new closure was announced during the week. The Morgan Creek - Exos Active SPAC Arbitrage ETF (CSH), which launched a little over a year ago, will cease to trade after March 24.  

Other closures completed during the week, with the Newday Sustainable Development Equity ETF (SDGS) shuttering after the close of business on Tuesday and the Impact Shares Sustainable Development Goals Global Equity ETF (SDGA) ceasing to trade after the close of business on Friday. 

Other Changes 

Several ETFs will see changes to their names or indexes in the coming months.  

As of April 20, the iShares Global Energy ETF (IXC) will adopt the S&P Global 1200 Energy 4.5/22.5/45 Capped Index as its underlying benchmark, replacing the S&P Global 1200 Energy Index. Meanwhile, the iShares Global Tech ETF (IXN) will replace the S&P Global 1200 Information Technology Index with the S&P Global 1200 Information Technology 4.5/22.5/45 Capped Index. 

The ASYMshares ASYMmetric S&P 500 ETF (ASPY) will change its name to the ASYMmetric Smart S&P 500 ETF as of Feb. 28. And another four ETFs offered by VictoryShares will also change their names, effective April 24. Those changes are as follows: 

Still other ETFs are undergoing expense ratios or share splits in addition to Vanguard. The iShares 25+ Year Treasury STRIPS Bond ETF (GOVZ) saw its expense ratio decrease by 5 basis points from 0.15% to 0.10% as of Feb. 17. 

And the iPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN (VXX) will undergo a 1-for-4 reverse share split as of March 7. 


Contact Heather Bell at [email protected] 

Heather Bell is a former managing editor of etf.com. She has also held editorial positions at Dow Jones Indexes and Lehman Brothers. Bell is a graduate of Dartmouth college and resides in the Denver area with her two dogs.