U.S. exchange traded product delistings and closures totaled 38 in 2011, consisting of 32 ETFs and six ETNs.  The all-time death toll now stands at 211 (192 ETFs and 19 ETNs).  Delistings dropped 22% from the 49 closures of 2010 and marked a third straight year of decline since the surge in 2008.

Closures affected ten different sponsors, with three making a 100% exit from the market: FaithShares terminated all five of its faith-based fundsJavelin shuttered its last remaining ETF, and Merrill Lynch delisted all seventeen of its HOLDRS.

Most of the closures had become Zombie ETFs.  They failed to attract enough assets, and it turn, did not generate enough revenue for the sponsor.  There were some exceptions, like the triggering of an early termination event to prevent the price from going to zero as with some Barclay’s no-reset products.

A handful of the Merrill Lynch HOLDRS remained popular with investors, but the antiquated structure did not really generate any revenue for Merrill.  About two-thirds of HOLDRS assets found a new home in similar Market Vector ETFs launched the following day.

Finally, the closure of Guggenheim BulletShares 2011 Corporate Bond ETF (BSCB) was unique.  BSCB became the first target maturity ETF to reach maturity, closing as per the schedule it announced at its time of launch.

The average age of funds that closed in 2011 was 73.9 months (6.2 years).  This significant deviation from the 18.8-month average lifespan of all 211 closed products was  primarily due to the closure of HOLDRS.  All had been in existence for at least 10 years and a couple of them had been around for more than 12 years.

The table below is sorted by product name.

ETF AND ETN CLOSURES OF 2011

# Ticker Name Last Day
1 BXDD Barclays ETN+ S&P; 500 3x Short D 2009 ETN 05/04/2011
2 FLYX Direxion Airline Shares 10/10/2011
3 BVL ELEMENTS Benjamin Graham Large Cap Value ETN 08/25/2011
4 BSC ELEMENTS Benjamin Graham Small Cap Value ETN 08/25/2011
5 BVT ELEMENTS Benjamin Graham Total Market Value ETN 08/25/2011
6 FZB FaithShares Baptist Values Fund 07/15/2011
7 FCV FaithShares Catholic Values Fund 07/15/2011
8 FOC FaithShares Christian Values Fund 08/31/2011
9 FKL FaithShares Lutheran Values Fund 07/15/2011
10 FMV FaithShares Methodist Values Fund 07/15/2011
11 BSCB Guggenheim BulletShares 2011 Corporate Bond ETF 12/29/2011
12 BHH HOLDRS B2B Internet ETF 12/23/2011
13 BBH HOLDRS Biotech ETF 12/20/2011
14 BDH HOLDRS Broadband ETF 12/23/2011
15 EKH HOLDRS Europe 2001 12/23/2011
16 HHH HOLDRS Internet 12/23/2011
17 IAH HOLDRS Internet Architecture 12/23/2011
18 IIH HOLDRS Internet Infrastructure 12/23/2011
19 MKH HOLDRS Merrill Lynch Market 2000+ 12/23/2011
20 OIH HOLDRS Oil Services 12/20/2011
21 PPH HOLDRS Pharmaceutical 12/20/2011
22 RKH HOLDRS Regional Bank 12/20/2011
23 RTH HOLDRS Retail 12/20/2011
24 SMH HOLDRS Semiconductor 12/20/2011
25 SWH HOLDRS Software 12/23/2011
26 TTH HOLDRS Telecom 12/23/2011
27 UTH HOLDRS Utilities 12/23/2011
28 WMH HOLDRS Wireless 12/23/2011
29 IVO iPath Inverse S&P; 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN 09/16/2011
30 VZZ iPath Long Enhanced S&P; 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures ETN 07/08/2011
31 HKK IQ Hong Kong Small Cap ETF 12/23/2011
32 RSUN IQ Japan Mid Cap ETF 12/23/2011
33 TWON IQ Taiwan Small Cap 12/23/2011
34 CRBA Jefferies|TR/J CRB Global Agriculture Equity 12/22/2011
35 CRBI Jefferies|TR/J CRB Global Industrial Metals Equity 12/22/2011
36 JCO JETS Contrarian Opportunities 09/29/2011
37 PQZ PowerShares Active Alpha Multi-Cap 09/30/2011
38 PQY PowerShares Active AlphaQ 09/30/2011

Additional resources:

Disclosure covering writer, editor, publisher, and affiliates: No positions in any of the securities mentioned. No positions in any of the companies or ETF sponsors mentioned.  No income, revenue, or other compensation (either directly or indirectly) received from, or on behalf of, any of the companies or ETF sponsors mentioned.