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New Funds Named BEDZ and EATZ Target Reopening Trade

Claire Ballentine
·3-min read

(Bloomberg) -- The recent rise in Covid cases has incited fears of fresh lockdowns, but new ETFs on travel and leisure are betting that consumers want to get off their couches.

AdvisorShares launched two new actively-managed funds on Wednesday geared toward some of the areas hit hardest by the pandemic -- a Hotel ETF with the ticker BEDZ and a Restaurant ETF called EATZ. Coming down the pipeline is also the SonicShares Airlines, Hotels, Cruise Lines ETF.

As the world nears one billion vaccinations, there are growing hopes that a return to normal isn’t far away. That’s given rise to increased interest in ETFs stuffed with companies poised to benefit.

“We’re going to see almost revenge spending and people’s emphasis on ‘you only live once,’” said Peter Mallouk, chief executive officer of Creative Planning, which has about $76 billion in assets under management. “We really are going to see a lasting boom across those sectors.”

As its ticker suggests, BEDZ will invest in lodging-related companies including economy hotels, luxury resorts and cruise lines. Its top holdings are VICI Properties Inc., Airbnb Inc. and Extended Stay America Inc. Meanwhile, EATZ aims to invest in companies that derive at least 50% of their net revenue from the restaurant business, with Jack in the Box Inc. and Yum! Brands Inc. as its largest stakes. They both charge a 0.79% expense ratio.

The offering from SonicShares will track the Solactive Airlines, Hotels, Cruise Lines Index, which counts Marriott International Inc., Hilton Grand Vacations Inc. and Delta Air Lines Inc. as holdings.

Some note that travel and leisure stocks have already started to recover on the news of successful Covid vaccines in November. “Our industry is not great in terms of thoughtfully launching products before cycles happen,” said John Porter, head of equities at Mellon Investments. “The reopening trade is something that has been leading the market for six months. If an ETF is just now being launched around that, it seems a little late.”

The outlook for these industries has dimmed recently as investors digest some pandemic setbacks. The U.S. State Department said earlier this week it would declare about 80% of the world’s nations no-go zones, and Covid cases are spiking in countries like India and Brazil.

The US Global Jets ETF (JETS) and Invesco Dynamic Leisure and Entertainment ETF (PEJ) are down 11% and 17%, respectively, from their March highs. They had run up 28% and 37% in the first part of the year. JETS is on pace for its first month of net outflows in more than a year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Yet shying away from the reopening trade in the face of bad Covid news could be a mistake, according to Mark Stoeckle, chief executive officer of Adams Funds.

“One of the risks today is that people are saying maybe the reopening trade is going to be pushed off or is not going to happen as robustly as we think it’s going to so let me trade out of those stocks,” he said. “We continue to be convicted in it -- it’s a little painful right now, but we don’t mind being early.”

(Updates trading and flow for JETS and PEJ funds in ninth paragraph)

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