An ETF targeting metaverse tech developers in Europe is being launched by BlackRock.
The iShares Metaverse UCITS ETF [MTAV] will track the STOXX Global Metaverse Index – a benchmark that leverages patent data to identify market leaders, innovators, and specialists in the space.
Sixty-five companies are included based on the quality of their innovation activity by assessing the patents they file.
Sectors include digital marketplaces, gaming, healthcare, manufacturing, software, hardware and components.
This incorporates companies developing interactive virtual platforms, wearables, and immersive technologies as well as those companies providing the necessary computer processing capabilities and infrastructure.
BlackRock’s reasoning is the filing and publication of patents in a specific technology indicates a company’s research focus and future direction of the company.
The fund is listed on Euronext, with a total expense ratio of 0.50%.
Axel Lomholt, chief product officer, indices and benchmarks at Qontigo, said: “The STOXX Global Metaverse Index complements our suite of Qontigo thematic strategies focusing on transformative technologies in a world which is digitalising at a rapid speed.
“We are applying innovative patents-based methodology that enables us to identify the pioneering companies developing the metaverse.”
The index also incorporates ESG screening criteria. Companies that are not compliant with the Sustainalytics Global Standards Screening (GSS) assessment or are involved in controversial weapons are excluded from the investment universe.
The fund is classified as Article 8 under the European Union’s Sustainable Financial Disclosure Regulation.
Omar Moufti, product strategist for thematic and sector ETFs at BlackRock, said: “We see the metaverse as the next leap forward in global communication and connectivity. It has the potential to revolutionise many sectors and processes, and reshape every facet of society, from the way we work, consume, interact, and produce.
“As further uses for metaverse technologies become apparent, the desire for exposure to the technology companies behind these innovations grows.”
Metaverse-linked ETFs have risen in prominence this year on the back of issuances from Fidelity, First Trust, Global X, Evolve and ProShares, amongst others.
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