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Muni, Currency Instruments Unveiled

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New York-based asset manager Van Eck Global has introduced the Market Vectors-Lehman Brothers AMT-Free Short Municipal Index ETF (SMB). The new ETF is designed to offer investors exposure to investment-grade municipal bonds with a nominal maturity of 1-6 years. SMB aims to replicate the price and yield performance of the Lehman Brothers AMT-Free Short Continuous Municipal Index.

Issues in the underlying Lehman Brothers index are investment grade and AMT-free. The net expense ratio of SMB is 0.16 percent. This new ETF joins the Market Vectors Intermediate and Long Municipal ETFs, launched by Van Eck on the Amex earlier in the year.

“There are compelling cost savings associated with purchasing municipal bonds through an ETF platform — I like to think of it as ‘more munis for the money,’” said Jan van Eck, principal at Van Eck Global.

In related news, the Market Vectors-Chinese Renminbi/USD ETN (CNY) and the Market Vectors-Indian Rupee/USD ETN (INR) were introduced. These instruments are issued by Morgan Stanley, and Van Eck Global is the exclusive marketer.

The Market Vectors-Chinese Renminbi/USD ETN (CNY) seeks to provide exposure to the Chinese renminbi versus the U.S. dollar. CNY tracks the performance of the S&P Chinese Renminbi Total Return Index (SPCBCNY). The Market Vectors-Indian Rupee/USD ETN (INR) seeks to provide exposure to the Indian Rupee versus the U.S. dollar. INR tracks the performance of the S&P Indian Rupee Total Return Index (SPCBINR).

Both notes will track the performance of their respective currencies by using rolling investments in short-term forward contracts. The benchmark currency indices underlying the notes are calculated and maintained by Standard & Poor’s.

Ron DeLegge is the San Diego-based editor of