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Bank of Montreal

Fernando Morales/Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

It looks like Bank of Montreal is pulling out all the stops to become a player in the exchange-traded fund (ETF) market.

The bank added eight new BMO ETFs to its lineup Wednesday, bringing its total offerings to 30 in a bid to boost market share in a competitive arena. It only began a foray into the ETF business a year ago.

The new ETFs invest in everything from real estate investment trusts (REITs), U.S. banks and U.S. health care firms to junior oil and gas companies and various types of bonds.

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The latest roll-out comes after the bank last month began offering BMO Guardian mutual funds invested in portfolios of BMO ETFs, and targeting them at advisers who can't sell exchange-listed ETFs. See previous Fund Watch blog.

The bank is playing catch-up to existing Canadian rivals. At the end of April, BMO ETFs had $580-million in assets and 1.7 per cent of the market share, according to figures from Toronto-based financial consulting firm Investor Economics.

The leader is iShares Canada whose ETFs have $26.9-billion in assets and 79 per cent of the market share.

Three of the new BMO ETFs will also hedge their foreign currency exposure against a strengthening loonie.

"We have added to our currency-hedged ETFs to allow investors to access the growth and diversity of non-Canadian markets without the added volatility often attributed to currency," said Rajiv Silgardo, chief executive officer of BMO Asset Management Inc.

The new offerings are:

• BMO Equal Weight REITs Index ETF (ZRE)

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• BMO Equal Weight US Banks Hedged to CAD Index ETF (ZUB)

• BMO Equal Weight US Health Care Hedged to CAD Index ETF (ZUH)

• BMO Junior Oil Index ETF (ZJO)

• BMO Junior Gas Index ETF (ZJN)

• BMO Long Federal Bond Index ETF (ZFL)

• BMO Real Return Bond Index ETF (ZRR)

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• BMO Emerging Markets Bond Hedged to CAD Index ETF (ZEF)

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