Goldman EM Bond ETF Has Zero Expense Ratio

A waiver makes 'GEMD' the cheapest emerging market bond ETF available.

Reviewed by: Heather Bell
Edited by: Heather Bell

Today, Goldman Sachs rolled out an emerging market bond ETF that tracks an index of investment-grade and junk bonds from government and quasi-government issuers that are denominated in U.S. dollars. The Goldman Sachs Access Emerging Markets USD Bond ETF (GEMD) joins a somewhat crowded field with seven similar funds already trading. 

GEMD comes with an expense ratio of 0.45%, but a fee waiver brings that down to zero through Feb. 17, 2023. It lists on Cboe Global markets.  

The fund tracks the FTSE Goldman Sachs Emerging Markets USD Bond Index, which includes both investment-grade and high-yield debt. Its methodology has governance and fundamental screens, with companies ranking in the bottom 10% for governance or the bottom 5% for fundamentals excluded from the selection universe.

There are also minimum requirements for debt outstanding. The index ultimately included 521 holdings, drawn from 47 countries, with a weighted average maturity of 13.7 years as of Dec. 1, 2021, according to the prospectus.  

GEMD's largest competitor is the $17.32 billion iShares JP Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF (EMB), which is the largest ETF targeting emerging market sovereign debt denominated in U.S. dollars. EMB, like GEMD, holds both investment-grade and high yield debt and has a similar average weighted maturity. It comes with an expense ratio of 0.39%.  


Contact Heather Bell at [email protected]

Heather Bell is a former managing editor of She has also held editorial positions at Dow Jones Indexes and Lehman Brothers. Bell is a graduate of Dartmouth college and resides in the Denver area with her two dogs.