ETF Spotlight: iShares Intermediate Credit Bond FundTom Lydon • Jun. 5, 2013
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Dec. 2, 2014, 5:09 AM
- With a $17B issuance from Medtronic (NYSE:MDT), U.S. corporate bond sales broke an annual record yesterday, pushing offerings for 2014 past the $1.5T mark.
- The surge in sales has been boosted by record-low borrowing costs, prompting companies to lock in on the low rates.
- ETFs: HYG, JNK, LQD, HYLD, HYS, VCSH, SJNK, VCIT, VCLT, CORP, CSJ, SJB, BSJF, CIU, HYHG, BSJE, BSJG, CRED, ANGL, LWC, BSJI, HYLS, SCPB, CLY, WYDE, BSCF, BSCE, ITR, BSCH, UJB, HYZD, XOVR, IGHG, QLTA, THHY, BSCG, BSJH, BSCI, QLTC, SHYG, BSJJ, HYGH, HYND, TYTE, BSJK, IBCE, COBO, IGS, SLQD, BSCK, CBND, FCOR, LQDH, IBCB, LDRI, QLTB, BSCJ, IBCC, BSCM, IBDH, IBDF, BSCL, IBDD, IGU, IBDC, BSCN, IBDA, IBDB, IBCD, BSCO, SKOR, BSJL, BSJM
Nov. 13, 2014, 11:59 AM
- The FlexShares Credit-Scored U.S. Corporate Bond Index Fund (NASDAQ:SKOR) will track an index of fixed income securities, focusing on intermediate maturity and selected using a proprietary credit evaluation process.
- SKOR "employs a rules-based methodology that incorporates forward-looking financial metrics to optimize credit risk while providing improved transparency and liquidity as compared to legacy corporate bond benchmarks," said Shundrawn A. Thomas, head of Northern Trust’s Funds and Managed Accounts Group in a press release.
- Other U.S. investment grade corporate bond ETFs with intermediate maturity: VCIT, CIU, ITR, SKOR
May. 20, 2014, 11:44 AM
- With borrowing costs about the lowest on record, and investors lending first and asking questions later, corporate finance officers are busy taking out loans. "My treasurer tells me always borrow when you can, not when you have to," says Shell CFO Simon Henry. "There are huge liquid pools at whatever tenor we need ... There's more capital out there than we can consume."
- The average yield on corporate debt has fallen 61 basis points this year to 4.4%, nearing last year's pre-bond bear market low of 4.1%.
- “The market is pretty hot,” says George Dessing, treasurer of Dutch business-to-business publisher Wolters Kluwer NV which raised 10-year money this month. “We have a preference for longer maturity and especially right now at these low costs it was a no-brainer.”
- ETFs: LQD, VCSH, VCIT, VCLT, CORP, CSJ, CIU, CFT, SCPB, LWC, ITR, CLY, IBND, PICB, QLTA, IGHG, PFIG, SLQD, IGS, CBND, SUBD, IGU, QLTB
Apr. 22, 2014, 11:55 AM
- Maybe surprising to many, long-dated investment-grade corporate bonds are outperforming junk bonds this year, with total returns already of 7.48% vs. junk at 3.3%. It's a turnaround from 2013, when high-yield returned 7.42% vs. a loss of 1.57% for IG paper.
- It's good news for institutional investors like pension funds and insurers, who have been big buyers of the bonds in recent months.
- Investment-grade corporate debt ETFs: LQD, VCSH, VCIT, VCLT, CORP, CSJ, CIU, CFT, SCPB, LWC, CLY, ITR, QLTA, IGHG, PFIG, SLQD, IGS, CBND, IGU, QLTB
- In other junk bond news, DoubleLine's Bonnie Baha says the firm's core fund has cut its high-yield exposure to 3% from 6%. High prices are the reason, says Baha, noting the average price of 104.5 cents on the dollar. Many issuers can force redemptions at 103 cents, and if they don't get called, in a low-rate environment there's extension risk.
- Baha takes note of the proliferation of short-duration high-yield funds. "It's a fallacy to think that just because it’s short-term that bad things can’t happen."
- High-yield ETFs: HYG, JNK, HYLD, HYS, SJNK, PHB, BSJF, SJB, BSJE, BSJG, HYHG, BSJI, ANGL, HYLS, UJB, BSJH, XOVR, THHY, YPRO, SHYG, QLTC, BSJK, HYZD, HYND, BSJJ
Apr. 10, 2014, 10:39 AM
- "The good ole' days are gone," says UBS, cutting its recommendation for U.S. corporate bonds to "small underweight" ahead of what's expected to be the beginning of a rate hike cycle in about a year.
- With spreads already so tight, any further gains from spread tightening will be marginal at best and not enough to make up for rate increases, says the team, which is bearish on both investment-grade and high-yield corporate debt.
- ETFs: HYG, JNK, LQD, HYLD, HYS, VCSH, SJNK, VCIT, VCLT, CORP, PHB, CSJ, CIU, SJB, CFT, HYHG, SCPB, LWC, ANGL, CLY, ITR, QLTA, HYLS, UJB, XOVR, THHY, IGHG, SHYG, QLTC, PFIG, SLQD, HYZD, IGS, HYND, CBND, QLTB, IGU
Apr. 1, 2014, 3:27 PM
- Investment-grade corporate paper returned 2.7% in in Q1 vs. a 1.42% gain for the MSCI World Index of stocks, the first time debt beat equities since Q2 of 2012. This follows stock gains of 27% last year while bonds fell 1.45%, and a near-universal outlook at the start of the year to rotate out of fixed-income and into equity.
- Junk bonds returned 2.86% in Q1.
- Helping, of course, is the decline in benchmark Treasury yields, but corporate balance sheets have improved, with at least some of that related to the rollicking stock market narrowing pension fund deficits.
- ETFs: LQD, VCSH, VCIT, VCLT, CORP, CSJ, CIU, CFT, SCPB, LWC, BSCE, BSCF, CLY, ITR, QLTA, BSCH, BSCG, IGHG, BSCI, PFIG, SLQD, IBCE, IBCB, BSCK, IGS, IBCC, BSCJ, BSCM, CBND, IBDC, IBDA, QLTB, IBCD, IBDB, BSCL, IBDD, IGU
Mar. 7, 2014, 2:14 AM
- General Electric (GE) has taken advantage of continued low rates with a $3B bond sale comprising $2.25B of 30-year notes and $750M in 10-year paper.
- The auction attracted strong demand, mainly due to the not-so-common opportunity to buy debt from the parent company rather than GE Capital. The last time the parent sold bonds was in October 2012.
- GE is rate at AA+ at S&P.
- Meanwhile, following shareholder feedback, GE will end dividend payments to senior management on new stock that has yet to vest.
- ETFs: LQD, VCSH, VCIT, CORP, VCLT, CSJ, CIU, CFT, SCPB, LWC, CLY, ITR, QLTA, IGHG, PFIG, SLQD, ENGN, IGS, CBND, QLTB, IGU
Mar. 3, 2014, 4:32 PM
- Eyeing better growth and sustained low interest rates, Moody's projects the global default rate to drop to 2.2% this year or 61 companies globally, from 2.9% or 66 companies in 2012.
- "Additional factors that support our view of a low default rate in 2014 are the continuous accommodative monetary environment together with ample liquidity, which has and will continue to allow distressed companies to access the capital market and reduce refinancing risk in the near future."
- For perspective, the average default rate since 1983 is 4.7%. It is indeed a golden age for corporate borrowers.
- Related ETFs: LQD, VCSH, VCIT, CORP, VCLT, CSJ, EMCB, CIU, CFT, EMCD, SCPB, LWC, GHYG, CLY, IBND, ITR, CEMB, PICB, QLTA, GLCB, IGHG, SLQD, PFIG, IGS, CBND, IGU, QLTB
Feb. 12, 2014, 4:50 PM
- "The default rate is non-existent," he says, agreeing that fundamentals in high-yield look good. "Instead of a default cycle, we've had a refinance cycle." The issue, however, is valuation. At the end of 2013, the 30-year Treasury yielded about 4%, while BB corporates "unbelievably" yielded just 4.5% - a "remarkably low incremental yield."
- His feelings about overvaluation extend to the investment grade corporate market (LQD) as well.
- Most curious to Gundlach is how universally the long bond is hated at 4%, while junk yielding 4.5% gets so much love.
- Besides Treasurys, Gundlach sees value in emerging market bonds. The risk is in the currency, but this can be eliminated by buying dollar-denominated paper.
- High yield ETFs: HYG, JNK, HYLD, HYS, SJNK, PHB, BSJF, SJB, BSJE, HYHG, BSJG, BSJI, ANGL, BSJH, HYLS, XOVR, THHY, UJB, QLTC, SHYG, BSJK, HYZD, BSJJ, HYND
- Investment grade ETFs: LQD, VCSH, VCIT, CORP, VCLT, CSJ, CIU, CFT, SCPB, LWC, CLY, ITR, QLTA, IGHG, PFIG, SLQD, IGS, CBND, IGU, QLTB
- EM bond ETFs: EMB, PCY, ELD, EMLC, EMCB, VWOB, EMCD, ILB, HYEM, EMHY, LEMB, ITIP, EMAG, EBND, GTIP, PFEM, EMSH, SEMF, IEMF, LEMF
Jan. 22, 2014, 4:02 PM
- The Pimco Diversified Income Exchange Traded Fund (DI) will replicate a portfolio of global bonds with maturities between 3 to 8 years.
- The Pimco Low-Duration Exchange Traded Fund (LDUR) will feature a portfolio of investment-grade debt with duration of 1 to 3 years.
- Both funds will launch on January 23rd, almost 2 years after Pimco's first successful mutual fund replication, the Pimco Total Return ETF (BOND).
- Other intermediate term, total market ETFs: VCIT, CIU, ITR, PFIG, GVI
- Other short duration, total market ETFs: VCSH, CSJ, SCPB, BSV, BIV, HOLD, MINC, ISTB
Nov. 7, 2013, 1:28 PM
- Open for trade today is the ProShares Investment Grade Interest Rate Hedged ETF (IGHG) whose underlying index tries to achieve a duration of zero by offseting corporate debt holdings with a short position in Treasurys.
- ProShares this summer launched a similarly hedged fund, but one aimed at high yield, the ProShares HighYield Interest Rate Hedged ETF (HYHG).
- IG corporate bond ETFs: LQD, VCSH, VCIT, VCLT, CORP, CSJ, CIU, CFT, SCPB, LWC, CLY, ITR, QLTA, PFIG, IGS, SLQD, CBND, QLTB, IGU
Dec. 6, 2010, 3:28 PMAs FY2010 winds down, ETF issuers have begun announcing expected capital gains payouts for their product lines. PowerShares expects to pay (pdf) distributions on just 3 of 112 funds with a top payout on PSAU of less than 2% of NAV. iShares expects payouts on just 5 of 219 ETFs with MBB the worst offender at 2.5% of its NAV. | Comment!
CIU vs. ETF Alternatives
The iShares Barclays Intermediate Credit Bond Fund seeks results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expense, of the investment grade credit sector of the United States bond market as defined by the Barclays Capital U.S. Intermediate Credit Bond Index.
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