SPA threw in the towel on its six existing ETFs today while simultaneously declaring that they might be back. Using surprisingly frank language, the SPA ETFs Board of Trustees said it has “determined current market conditions are unsuitable for a long-only equity investment strategy, such as the one employed by the SPA MarketGrader ETFs.”

Today’s announcement should come as no surprise to regular readers. The SPA MarketGrader 200 Fund (SNB) was included in my inaugural issue of ETF Deathwatch last September, and all six have been regulars on the list this year. Beginning in January, I started warning that the whole complex could shut down.

The supplement to the prospectus states that the last day of trading will be March 25, 2009 with liquidation taking place on March 30. The six ETFs being closed are:

  • SPA MarketGrader 40 Fund (SFV)
  • SPA MarketGrader 100 Fund (SIH)
  • SPA MarketGrader 200 Fund (SNB)
  • SPA MarketGrader Small Cap 100 Fund (SSK)
  • SPA MarketGrader Mid Cap 100 Fund (SVD)
  • SPA MarketGrader Large Cap 100 Fund (SZG)

Trading has been close to non-existent in these ETFs. The last trade in SNB was March 3, while the other five have been showing only slightly more investor interest.

Even though SPA is shutting all their funds, they are leaving the trust open and vowed to be back later in the year with more ETFs. Daniel Freedman, Managing Director of SPA ETFs said “the trust remains open and we plan to partner with other institutions to bring new ETFs to market in Europe and the US in 2009. Additionally, when market conditions improve we may reintroduce the MarketGrader strategy.”

In a separate announcement, the firm also announced its intent to shutter related products listed on the London Stock Exchange and Borsa Italiana.