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Press release from Business Wire

iShares Launches the First Index-Based ETF Focused on Emerging Markets Corporate Bonds

<p class='bwalignc'> <i>New iShares ETF taps into the next stage of emerging markets economic growth, listing same-day on BATS and the London Stock Exchange</i> </p>

Thursday, April 19, 2012

iShares Launches the First Index-Based ETF Focused on Emerging Markets Corporate Bonds09:35 EDT Thursday, April 19, 2012 SAN FRANCISCO (Business Wire) -- BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK) announced that its iShares® Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) business, the world's largest manager of ETFs, has launched a new fund focused on corporate bonds in emerging market countries. The iShares Emerging Markets Corporate Bond Fund (BATS: CEMB) offers broad access to dollar-denominated, investment grade and high yield bonds issued by corporations based in Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. An Irish-domiciled fund with the same exposure listed earlier today on the London Stock Exchange. The iShares Emerging Markets Corporate Bond Fund is the first index-based ETF to offer targeted exposure to emerging markets corporate debt. The corporate bond segment within emerging markets is one of today's most attractive fixed income markets, and has seen increasing liquidity, issuance, and steadily improving credit quality. The emerging markets corporate debt market saw an eight-fold increase in issuancein the last ten years, and now rivals the size of the dollar-denominated emerging markets sovereign debt market1. “Investors are becoming more sophisticated in how they build fixed income portfolios,” said Matthew Tucker, Head of iShares Fixed Income Strategy at BlackRock. “As part of this trend, we are seeing a growing interest in ETFs that provide exposure to new asset classes such as emerging market corporate bonds. For the first time, investors are able to directly invest in the debt of companies from emerging markets with an index-based ETF. Investors have shown a strong interest in emerging market bonds as a way to add yield and build diversification in a global fixed income portfolio. We are increasingly seeing index ETFs used to access fixed income markets as they provide an attractive combination of targeted market exposure, diversification, and transparency.” Tucker continued, “iShares has been a pioneer in creating index ETFs that allow investors to access new markets across the globe. Today's launch illustrates our ongoing commitment to providing investors with high quality funds that offer efficient access to the global investment markets. Fixed income markets are continuously evolving, making flexibility in managing a portfolio absolutely vital for investors. Bringing these kinds of unique investment tools to investors is the core principle driving product innovation at iShares.” Both funds listed today are benchmarked to the Morningstar Emerging Markets Corporate Bond Index, a customized, investable index that utilizes built-in liquidity screens and a 5% issuer cap. The top three country holdings are Brazil (19.0%), Mexico (11.8%) and Russia (11.6%). About BlackRock BlackRock is a leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients worldwide. At September 30, 2011, BlackRock's AUM was $3.345 trillion. BlackRock offers products that span the risk spectrum to meet clients' needs, including active, enhanced and index strategies across markets and asset classes. Products are offered in a variety of structures including separate accounts, mutual funds, iShares® (exchange-traded funds), and other pooled investment vehicles. BlackRock also offers risk management, advisory and enterprise investment system services to a broad base of institutional investors through BlackRock Solutions®. Headquartered in New York City, as of September 30, 2011, the firm has approximately 10,200 employees in 27 countries and a major presence in key global markets, including North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Middle East and Africa. For additional information, please visit the Company's website at www.blackrock.com. About iShares iShares is the global product leader in exchange traded funds with over 500 funds globally across equities, fixed income and commodities, which trade on 20 exchanges worldwide. The iShares Funds are bought and sold like common stocks on securities exchanges. The iShares Funds are attractive to many individual and institutional investors and financial intermediaries because of their relative low cost, tax efficiency and trading flexibility. Investors can purchase and sell shares through any brokerage firm, financial advisor, or online broker, and hold the funds in any type of brokerage account. The iShares customer base consists of the institutional segment of pension plans and fund managers, as well as the retail segment of financial advisors and high net worth individuals. plans and fund managers, as well as the retail segment of financial advisors and high net worth individuals. Carefully consider the funds' investment objectives, risk factors, and charges and expenses before investing. This and other information can be found in the funds' prospectuses, which may be obtained by calling 1-800-iShares (1-800-474-2737) or by visiting www.iShares.com. Read the prospectus carefully before investing. Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. Bonds and bond funds will decrease in value as interest rates rise. In addition to the normal risks associated with investing, international investments may involve risk of capital loss from unfavorable fluctuation in currency values, from differences in generally accepted accounting principles or from economic or political instability in other nations. Emerging markets involve heightened risks related to the same factors as well as increased volatility and lower trading volume. Diversification may not protect against market risk. Holdings are subject to change. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events or a guarantee of future results. This information should not be relied upon by the reader as research or investment advice regarding the funds or any security in particular. Transactions in shares of the iShares Funds will result in brokerage commissions and will generate tax consequences. iShares Funds are obliged to distribute portfolio gains to shareholders. Shares of the iShares Funds may be sold throughout the day on the exchange through any brokerage account. However, shares may only be redeemed directly from a Fund by Authorized Participants, in very large creation/redemption units. The iShares Funds ("Funds") are distributed by BlackRock Investments, LLC (together with its affiliates, “BlackRock”). The iShares Funds are not sponsored, endorsed, issued, sold or promoted by Morningstar, Inc., nor does this company make any representation regarding the advisability of investing in the Funds. BlackRock is not affiliated with the company listed above. * Not FDIC Insured * No Bank Guarantee * May Lose Value1 Source: JP Morgan, as of 1/31/2012 BlackRockChristine Hudacko, 415-670-2687christine.hudacko@blackrock.comDiane Henry, 415-670-4567diane.henry@blackrock.com