SSgA Files For Short-Term Junk Bond ETF

December 29, 2011

SSgA looks to build on the success of JNK with a short-dated junk bond ETF.

State Street Global Advisors, the fund provider behind SPDR ETFs, filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to bring to market a high-yield ETF that tracks the U.S. short-term corporate bond market, another foray for SSgA into the increasingly popularity world of junk bond ETFs.

The SPDR Barclays Capital Short Term High Yield Bond ETF will track the performance of the Barclays Capital 0-5 Cash Pay Constrained High Yield Index, which includes only bonds from industrial, utility and financial companies.

With yields on investment-grade debt relatively low, investors looking for significant returns are wading into the junk bond market. The popularity of the $8.75 billion SPDR Barclays Capital High Yield Bond ETF (NYSEArca: JNK) and the $10.54 billion iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond Fund (NYSEArca: HYG) are clear signs that investors are willing to take on risk for more yield.

High-yield securities come with certain risks, most notably that the companies issuing them are at greater risk of default than higher-rated companies. Also, they generally don’t have long track records of earnings or of sales. Further, the secondary market for junk bonds can be markedly less liquid than it is for higher-rated securities.

The new fund will use a sampling strategy, as opposed to a replication strategy. Under normal circumstances, it will invest at least 80 percent of its assets in securities comprising the index or in securities that SSgA deems have characteristics identical to those contained within the index.

According to the filing, the quality of the holdings in the fund will be based upon a number of factors including asset size. The index, which comprises issues of more than $350 million, excludes certain debt, such as noncorporate bonds, structured notes with embedded swaps, eurobonds, defaulted bonds and zero coupon bonds.

SSgA didn’t list an expense ratio or a ticker for it ETF.

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