The shakeout in the exchange-traded fund business continued with Northern Trust Corp.'s announcement that it will close its ETF business on Feb. 20.

The funds have attracted little investor interest since the company entered the business last year.

Its 17 ETFs, tracking international, single-country benchmarks like the DAX in Frankfurt and the FTSE 100 in London, had assets of just $33 million at the end of 2008. They competed against iShares ETFs from Barclays PLC that follow single-country benchmarks from the Morgan Stanley Capital International index family.

Investors' desire for access to very specific type of assets led to a surge, then a flood, of ETF offerings, and investor interest waned.

Northern Trust announced the move Tuesday.

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