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PowerShares Debuts Bond Funds

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PowerShares Capital Management has expanded its family of fixed-income exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

The company has listed five new funds, including an emerging markets fund as well as insured New York and California municipal bond portfolios, on the American Stock Exchange.

According to the prospectus, the PowerShares muni bond funds charge annual expense ratios of 0.28 percent. The Emerging Markets Portfolio (PCY) charges 0.50 percent and the 1-30 Laddered Treasury Portfolio (PLW) charges 0.25 percent.

PowerShares joins a growing list of ETF providers that have recently introduced funds targeting the muni bond market. In early September, Barclays Global Investors launched the first municipal bond ETF, the iShares S&P National Municipal Bond Fund (MUB) on the American Stock Exchange.

Competing firms such as State Street Global Advisors and Vanguard have also been aggressively adding to their bond ETF menus.

“The PowerShares 1-30 Laddered Treasury Portfolio will allow investors to implement a sophisticated bond-laddering strategy in the convenient form of a single ETF trade, and our New York and California insured portfolios will enable investors to leverage two of the most active municipal bond markets in the nation,” says Bruce Bond, president and CEO of PowerShares. “Fixed-income is an area of ongoing attention for PowerShares.”

The names and ticker symbols for the new funds are:

o PowerShares 1-30 Laddered Treasury Portfolio (PLW)o PowerShares Insured California Municipal Bond Portfolio (PWZ)o PowerShares Insured New York Municipal Bond Portfolio (PZT)o PowerShares Insured National Municipal Bond Portfolio (PZA) o PowerShares Emerging Markets Sovereign Debt Portfolio (PCY)

Ron DeLegge is the San Diego-based editor of