The Next Big Theme: December 2023

Digital platforms drive record spending, new ‘miracle’ weight-loss drug approvals, and the US begins expansion of cybersecurity workforce. Join us in the final Next Big Theme of 2023 as Global X explores recent news and developments in e-commerce, biotech, cybersecurity, and more.

E-commerce & Fintech

Holiday Spending Trends Unwrapped

A record-breaking 200.4 million American consumers participated in shopping activities from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday thanks to a substantial consumer shift towards digital platforms.1 This activity surpassed last year’s figures and significantly exceeded initial projections.2 US consumers spent a record $12.4 billion on Cyber Monday alone, with overall online sales during Cyber Week increasing 5% year-over-year (YoY) to an impressive $70.8 billion.3 Data from Cyber Week 2023 showed global sales rose 6% YoY to $298 billion.4 Increased adoption of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) options and mobile wallets were also notable trends. BNPL orders in the US increased 8% YoY, illustrating the growing consumer preference for flexible payment methods amid economic pressures.5 US mobile wallet usage, boosted by Apple Pay in particular, rose 54%, reflecting a shift towards more convenient and frictionless payment methods.6

Amazon marked its “biggest ever” holiday shopping event with over 1 billion items sold, highlighting the strength of its extended promotional strategies and the consumer appeal of its product offerings, notably in electronics and personal care.7

Explore fintech and e-commerce with FTEC.

Health & Wellness

Pharmaceuticals Reshape Obesity and Weight-Loss Treatments

The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recent approval of Eli Lilly’s Zepbound™ (tirzepatide) is a major step in chronic weight management.8 In clinical trials, Zepbound demonstrated substantial weight loss, with the highest dose leading to an average loss of 48 pounds.9 This drug is the first approved treatment that activates two incretin hormone receptors, GIP and GLP-1, to address an underlying cause of excess weight.10 To promote its weight-loss drugs Wegovy and Saxenda, Novo Nordisk paid US medical professionals $25.8 million in fees and expenses between 2013 and 2022.11 The drugs mimic a natural hormone that slows digestion and makes patients feel fuller. Wegovy shows 15% average weight loss in trials.12 Roche’s acquisition of Carmot Therapeutics for $2.7 billion marks its entry into the weight-loss space, gaining access to promising GLP-1 receptor agonists.13 Carmot’s lead asset, CT-388, demonstrated significant weight loss in Phase Ib studies.14 Roche also obtained CT-868 and CT-996, expanding its scope to address obesity and potentially conditions such as cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.15

Explore biotech and healthcare with CURE.


Transatlantic Synergy in Cybersecurity Efforts

The Cyber Resilience Act (CRA) in the European Union and the Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Expansion Act in the United States represent pivotal steps in enhancing cybersecurity at the government level. On the cusp of adoption, the CRA is set to improve the security of digital products in the EU.16 It mandates comprehensive cybersecurity requirements for the manufacturers of connected devices, emphasising robust security measures throughout the lifecycles of hardware and software products.17 In the US, the Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Expansion Act aims to establish a registered apprenticeship program within the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and a pilot program for veterans’ cybersecurity training through the Department of Veterans Affairs.18 This initiative is a strategic response to the increasing demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals.

On the corporate front, the expanded partnership between IBM Consulting and Palo Alto Networks exemplifies the private sector’s proactive stance on cybersecurity.19 This collaboration is designed to strengthen clients’ overall security postures in the evolving landscape of cybersecurity threats.

Explore cybersecurity with BUGG.


UAE Spearheads Climate Fund Alterra

The United Arab Emirates, the host of the COP28 climate summit, launched a landmark initiative in the battle against climate change with the Alterra climate fund.20 Backed by a $30 billion commitment from the UAE and in partnership with global asset management giants BlackRock, Brookfield, and TPG, the new fund aims to attract over $250 billion in investments by 2030 and set a new standard in climate investment.21 Core to Alterra’s strategy is to direct investments into clean energy advancements and climate mitigation projects for the developing world and emerging economies. The fund already achieved a key milestone by earmarking funds for more than 6 gigawatts of clean energy initiatives in India.22 This strategy is pivotal not just for climate change mitigation but also for the sustainable development of these regions. It also shows the growing global consensus on the critical need for these investments.

Explore the clean energy transition with ATOM, HGEN, and GCO2.

Related Funds

FTEC: The Global X Fintech & Blockchain ETF (ASX: FTEC) invests in the financial technology sector which includes innovative companies in industries such as insurance, investing, fundraising, and third-party lending through unique mobile and digital solutions, as well as blockchain and digital assets.

CURE: The Global X S&P Biotech ETF (ASX: CURE) invests in companies at the fore of healthcare innovation and genomic science, including those involved in gene editing, genomic sequencing, genetic medicine and therapy, computational genomics, and biotechnology.

BUGG: The Global X Cybersecurity ETF (ASX: BUGG) invests in cybersecurity companies whose principal business is in the development and management of security protocols preventing intrusion and attacks on systems, networks, applications, computers, and mobile devices.

ATOM: The Global X Uranium ETF (ASX: ATOM) invests in a broad range of companies involved in uranium mining and the production of nuclear components, including those in extraction, refining, exploration, or manufacturing of equipment for the uranium and nuclear industries.

HGEN: The Global X Hydrogen ETF (ASX: HGEN) invests in companies involved in hydrogen production, the integration of hydrogen into energy systems, the development or manufacturing of hydrogen fuel cells, electrolysers, and other technologies related to the use of hydrogen as an energy source.

GCO2: The Global Carbon ETF (Synthetic) (ASX: GCO2) invests in the world’s largest carbon markets covering the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme, Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Western Climate Initiative (California cap and trade program) and the UK Emissions Trading Scheme.