Cinthia Murphy

Cinthia Murphy is managing editor of, specializing in all things ETFs. Her experience includes time at Dow Jones and former BridgeNews, covering commodity futures markets in Chicago and Brazil equities in Sao Paulo. Murphy has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Features and News

PowerShares Outlines Bank Loan ETF

Invesco PowerShares, the Wheaton, Ill.-based exchange-traded fund firm best known for its PowerShares QQQ ETF (Nasdaq: QQQQ) of Nasdaq’s 100-biggest companies, filed new paperwork with U.S. regulators, renaming its planned bank-loan ETF and revealing the fund’s ticker and cost.

The PowerShares Senior Loan Portfolio, previously named PowerShares S&P Bank Loan Portfolio, will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange’s electronic platform, Arca, under the ticker “BKLN” and have an annual expense ratio of 0.83 percent, according to the filing, which updates paperwork the company filed in November.

BKLN will invest primarily in “senior loans,” defined in the filing as leveraged, bank or floating rate loans. A small portion of the portfolio might also be allocated to closed-end funds that invest in senior loans and in junk bonds. While the portfolio is global in scope, all loans must be dollar-denominated, according to the filing.

The fund will employ a representative-sampling to track the S&P/LSTA U.S. Leveraged Loan 100 Index. The benchmark measures the market-weighted performance of the largest institutional leveraged loans based on market weightings, spreads and interest payments.

The rules-based index, which has 100 loans, is a subset of a larger benchmark, the S&P/LSTA Leveraged Loan Index, which comprises more than 1,000 loans, the filing said. Leveraged loans are rated below investment-grade quality or are unrated. Their speculative nature usually means they are often more volatile than higher-quality loans and are less liquid in the secondary market.

While the fund will generally secure collateral, investors are advised to keep in mind that investing in below-grade-investment-grade bank loans involves credit risk as well as interest rate fluctuations risk, according to the filing.

Some of the criteria required for a loan to be eligible for the mix include the loan having a minimum initial term of a year, being dollar-denominated and having a minimum initial spread of 125 basis points over Libor  (the London interbank borrowing rate).

Powershares said in the filing the index will be rebalanced semiannually.

Features and News

iShares Plans Int’l Preferred Stock ETF

iShares, BlackRock’s exchange-traded funds unit, filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to market a dividend-focused ETF that will own preferred stock in developed markets outside the U.S.

Features and News

Vanguard Rolls Out Cheapest Global ETF

Vanguard rolls out a competitor to its own VEU that uses a different index.

Features and News

Global X Plans 4 International ETFs

Global X canvasses the globe in a new filing covering four funds.

Features and News

AdvisorShares Unveils Short-Only ETF

AdvisorShares, the Bethesda, Md.-based ETF sponsor known for its actively managed strategies, today launched a short-only U.S. equities ETF that’s designed to capture alpha in “any market environment” by short-selling the market’s underperformers.

Features and News

New FTSE, AlphaSimplex Indexes Target Risk

FTSE Group, the global index provider behind thousands of benchmarks worldwide, launched a series of indexes in partnership with Andrew Lo’s Cambridge, Mass.-based investment advisor AlphaSimplex Group that are designed to capture long-term expected returns in a risk-controlled environment.

Features and News

Case-Shiller: US Home Values Slip Again

A double-dip in U.S. home prices is starting to look inevitable.

Features and News

Investors Moving Toward ETFs, Cogent Says

Investors are moving away from mutual funds and toward ETFs, as Vanguard shines.

Features and News

iShares Files For Volatility-Focused ETFs

iShares, BlackRock’s exchange-traded funds unit and the world’s largest purveyor of ETFs, filed paperwork for two ETFs that, by relying on a volatility screen, would offer investors a new twist on the MSCI USA and the MSCI EAFE indexes in an effort to mitigate risk associated with the widely known MSCI benchmarks.