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The 10 Smallest Cap ETFs With Biggest Institutional Investment

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PowerShares Dynamic Retail (NYSEARCA:PMR) tops the list with a majority of the ETFs owned by institutional investors. PowerShares ETFs also had the highest returns, up to 56.24%.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL PowerShares Dynamic Retail (NYSEARCA:PMR), with $22.56 million in market capitalization, was the smallest cap ETF we could find with the largest share of institutional holdings at a total of 97.24%. The firm's largest holder is Niemann Capital Management with 678,319 shares worth over $17 million at today's stock price of $25.12. This gave the California-based money manager a 75% stake in the retail-focused ETF.

In total, there are 26 ETFs with a market capitalization of less than $100 million. These range from $20.38 million to $99.01 million. PowerShares dominates the under-$100 million ETF category with 13 funds, leaving SPDR a distant second with five funds on the list. Of that group, institutional investors hold from 2.41% to 97.24% stakes.

Returns for the group ranged from a low of -0.89% to a high of 56.24%. Interestingly, both the low and the high returns for the under-$100 million market cap group were both PowerShares funds: The Lux Nanotech (NYSEARCA:PXN) and Dynamic Building & Construction (NYSEARCA:PKB) ETFs, respectively.

On the list of the top 10 in terms of funds with the most institutional ownership, SPDR dominated with four funds. PowerShares, Rydex, and iShares had two each. On average, the total return for the top 10 was just over 23%, ranging from a low of 4.02% return for iShares MSCI Austria Investable (NYSEARCA:EWO) to a high of 31.33% for PowerShares Dynamic Leisure & Entertainment (NYSEARCA:PEJ).

While Niemann held the largest share of the smallest ETF on the list, Old Dominion Capital Management had the single largest stake, $20.65 million in SPDR DJ Wilshire Large Cap (NYSEARCA:ELR), and the most invested in the top 10, $29.6 million between two ETFs.

Morgan Stanley was the largest shareholder for five of the top 10 ETFs with $23.8 million across those ETFs.
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