Credit Suisse is closing down two ETFs in the space amid growing pressure from the Securities and Exchange Commission to limit high-leverage trading activity in the marketplace. The VelocityShares 3x Long Crude Oil ETN (UWTI) and VelocityShares 3x Inverse Crude Oil ETN (DWTI) will be delisted on Dec. 8. After the closing of trading on that day, both funds will be liquidated.
CreditSuisse warned that this announcement “may influence the market value” of the funds by possibly restricting liquidity and causing traders to lose interest in the funds before their delisting.
UWTI fell over 8% yesterday as oil futures fell, while DWTI rose by roughly the same amount. Both funds have seen significant declines over the long term, with DWTI down 43% year over year and UWTI down 73% over the same time period. Both funds have seen several reverse splits since their inception and have lost 99% of their value after their IPO.
Leveraged ETFs carry significant risks and are recommended only for short-term speculation among sophisticated investors. However, recent criticism about these products has led several financial advisors to warn that they are dangerous vehicles that should be more severely restricted. (See also: The Risk of Investing in Inverse ETFs.)
Other ETFs that attempt to track the prices of oil futures include United States Oil (USO), ProShares Ultra Bloomberg Crude Oil (UCO) and ProShares UltraShort Bloomberg Crude Oil (SCO). None of those funds’ managers have indicated any plan to delist these funds.