July 26, 2002 - Barclays Global Investors has launched four new fixed-income exchange-traded funds, the first such ETFs and the first to be rated for quality and volatility by Standard & Poor's.
Like existing ETFs created by Barclays, each fund is designed to mirror the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of a particular benchmark. The funds will be managed by Barclays Global Fund Advisors.
Although equity ETFs, including other iShares, SPDRS (Standard & Poor's Depository Receipts) and Vipers (Vanguard Index Participation Equity Receipts) have been around for a while, the new iShares are the first to track fixed-income benchmarks. Another organization, ETF Advisers, recently registered four ETF bond funds, to be called FITRs (fixed-income trust receipts), which will be based on U.S. Treasury securities.
In the same manner as equity ETFs, the new iShares fixed-income funds offer the assurance that performance will match that of the target benchmark, and they provide the opportunity to trade the shares during the day. The shares trade on the ASE, NYSE and CBOE.
The new funds and their quality/volatility ratings are as follows:
ETF Name Quality/Volatility Rating
iShares Lehman 1-3 Yr. Treas. Bond Fund AAAf/S1
iShares Lehman 7-10Yr. Treas. Bond Fund AAAf/S3
iShares Lehman 20+ Yr. Treas. Bond Fund AAAf/S5
iShares GS $ InvesTop Corp. Bond Fund A- f/S3