July 13, 2011 / 8:26 PM / in 6 years

BMO says ETF assets rose 35 pct in three months

* BMO ETF assets up 35 pct in past 3 months to C$2.7 bln

* Royal Bank of Canada, others, to join ETF fray

TORONTO, July 13 (Reuters) - The value of assets managed by Bank of Montreal’s (BMO.TO) exchange traded fund business has risen 35 percent in the past three months to C$2.7 billion ($2.8 billion), Canada’s No. 4 bank said on Wednesday.

BMO launched its first ETFs in June 2009 through its asset management unit and now has a stable of 40 funds covering various asset classes, sectors, and regions.

ETFs are investment vehicles that own an array of stocks or bonds, similar to mutual funds, but which are traded on public exchanges.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), the country’s largest lender, said last week it plans to launch a suite of ETFs. [ID:nN1E7661T6]

It joins a growing list of firms entering or preparing to enter Canada’s nascent C$40 billion ETF market.

Last month, First Asset Investment Management Inc launched its XTF Capital eXchange Traded Funds in Canada, and Invesco Trimark launched PowerShares ETFs.

Vanguard Group, one of the biggest mutual fund and ETF managers in the United States, also said it plans to set up shop in Canada.

They will join BlackRock’s (BLK.N) Canadian unit, which offers iShares ETFs, Claymore Investments, and Jovian Capital Corp, which offers ETFs through Horizons ETF Inc.

$1=$0.96 Canadian Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Peter Galloway

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