iShares Creates the First Suite of Corporate Credit Quality Exchange Traded Funds
iShares Launches the First ETFs that Access Baa – Ba and B – Ca Rated Corporate Debt
SAN FRANCISCO -- April 26, 2012 - BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE: BLK) announced that its iShares Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) business, the world’s largest manager of ETFs, has launched the first suite of corporate credit quality ETFs. The new iShares ETFs that began trading today are the iShares Baa – Ba Rated Corporate Bond Fund (BATS: QLTB) and the iShares B – Ca Rated Corporate Bond Fund (BATS: QLTC). The two new funds are the first ETFs designed to offer precise exposure to specific credit quality segments of the U.S. corporate debt market. Today’s launch follows the February debut of the iShares Aaa – A Rated Corporate Fund (NYSE Arca: QLTA), which offers exposure to the highest quality USD-denominated corporate bonds rated Aaa – A.
"The creation of the iShares suite of corporate credit quality ETFs is a significant milestone for investors and the industry," said Matthew Tucker, Head of iShares Fixed Income Investment Strategy at BlackRock. "Investors have asked for more targeted iShares fixed income ETFs in order to create custom portfolios and adjust their portfolio exposures quickly as debt market conditions change. The new iShares suite transforms how investors can access specific slices of corporate bonds and brings transparent pricing to an otherwise opaque area of fixed income."
The iShares Baa – Ba Rated Corporate Bond Fund is the first ETF that offers access to corporate debt issues that typically offer higher yields than A-rated issuers with less credit risk than broad high yield debt. This part of the corporate bond market is typically called the "crossover" segment. The fund expense ratio is .30 percent, and is benchmarked to the Barclays Capital U.S. Corporate Baa – Ba Capped Index.
The iShares B – Ca Rated Corporate Bond Fund is the first ETF that focuses exclusively on access to higher yielding high yield corporate debt issuers rated B – Ca. With the purchase of a single fund, investors can access B to Ca-rated high yield bonds with an iShares ETF that are broadly diversified across sectors and maturities. The fund expense ratio is .55 percent, and is benchmarked to the Barclays Capital U.S. Corporate B – Ca Capped Index.
"The new suite of three iShares corporate bond ETFs supports a highly flexible and uniquely modular portfolio management approach to the corporate credit spectrum. Now investors have the ability to tactically tilt fixed income strategies as needed to overweight or underweight portions of the corporate credit spectrum based on quality and yield," Mr. Tucker said.
"Fixed income market conditions can change quickly, so flexibility in managing a portfolio is critical for investors – and a core principle driving the continuous product innovation effort taking place at iShares," he said.
Details about the new funds can be found using the links below:
About BlackRock: BlackRock is a leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients worldwide. At March 31, 2012, BlackRock's AUM was $3.684 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 March 31, 2012, the firm has approximately 9,900 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, narrowly focused investments typically exhibit higher volatility. The Fund is subject to credit risk, which refers to the possibility that the debt issuers may not be able to make principal and interest payments or may have their debt downgraded by ratings agencies.
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 or issued by Barclays Capital 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. iS-7118-0412
* Not FDIC Insured * No Bank Guarantee * May Lose Value