The number of ETF Deathwatch constituents rises by ten for May, breaking a streak of declining counts stretching back to October of last year. Eighteen new names join the list, including fourteen ETFs and four ETNs. Seven ETFs had improved health and escaped. One ETF underwent “voluntary” delisting in April, becoming the 342nd ETP that is no longer among the living. ETF Deathwatch membership now stands at 334 (229 ETFs and 105 ETNs).

STREAM S&P Dynamic Roll Commodities Fund (BNPC) was the single ETF delisted in April. It provides a real-time example of why investors should sell shares prior to delisting and avoid the liquidation process. BNP Paribas, the sponsor of the ETF formerly known as BNPC, did not liquidate the portfolio and has not announced any plans to do so. The BNPC website has been taken down. Technically, the fund still exists as CUSIP 86324B103. If you own shares, good luck trying to find a buyer at a fair price.

For our purposes, we count ETPs as being born on the first day their listing becomes active on a U.S. exchange. Likewise, delisting constitutes death, since the product is no longer easily accessible to retail investors. BNPC died after the close of trading on April 12. The future of BNP Paribas as a viable participant in the U.S. ETF market probably died the same day. This is a competitive market with little tolerance for sponsors that are not shareholder friendly.

Nine products went the entire month of April without any trades. iPath Short Enhanced MSCI EAFE ETN (MFSA) last traded on October 9, 2012. Barclay’s long version of that product, iPath Enhanced MSCI EAFE ETN (MFLA) hasn’t traded in about seven weeks and was quoted today with a $72.00/$216.00 Bid/Ask spread. Helloooo, Barclay’s iPath, is anybody minding the store? A total of 157 ETPs had zero volume on the last day of the month.

Complete List of 334 Products on ETF Deathwatch for May 2013

The 18 ETPs added to ETF Deathwatch for May:

  1. Barclays ETN+ Shiller CAPE ETN (CAPE)
  2. EGShares Emerging Markets Core (EMCR)
  3. EGShares GEMS Composite (AGEM)
  4. EGShares India Small Cap (SCIN)
  5. ELEMENTS MLCX Grains Total Return ETN (GRU)
  6. First Trust CBOE S&P 500 VIX Tail Hedge (VIXH)
  7. FlexShares Ready Access Variable Income (RAVI)
  8. Market Vectors Fallen Angel High Yield Bond (ANGL)
  9. PowerShares DB Agriculture Long ETN (AGF)
  10. PowerShares DB German Bund Futures ETN (BUNL)
  11. ProShares Ultra Investment Grade Corporate (IGU)
  12. ProShares Ultra Russell2000 Value (UVT)
  13. ProShares USD Covered Bond (COBO)
  14. SPDR Nuveen S&P VRDO Municipal Bond (VRD)
  15. SPDR S&P 1500 Momentum Tilt (MMTM)
  16. SPDR S&P 1500 Value Tilt (VLU)
  17. WisdomTree Commodity Country Equity (CCXE)
  18. WisdomTree Large Cap Value (EZY)

The 7 ETPs removed from ETF Deathwatch due to improved health:

  1. Direxion Daily 7-10 Year Treasury Bull 3x (TYD)
  2. First Trust NASDAQ ABA Community Bank (QABA)
  3. Global X Top Guru Holdings Index (GURU)
  4. PowerShares KBW Capital Markets (KBWC)
  5. PowerShares KBW Property & Casualty Insurance (KBWP)
  6. PowerShares MENA Frontier Countries (PMNA)
  7. ProShares UltraShort Nasdaq Biotechnology (BIS)

The 1 ETF removed from ETF Deathwatch due to death and delisting:

  1. STREAM S&P Dynamic Roll Commodities Fund (BNPC) [BNPC To Delist: No Liquidation Plans Announced]

Additional Data/Resources:

Five Steps to Avoid Disaster When Your ETF Closes

ETF Deathwatch Criteria (objective criteria used to generate list)

ETF Deathwatch Archives (past monthly issues)

Disclosure covering writer, editor, and publisher: Long CUSIP 86324B103 to have a front row seat to this train wreck. 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.