iShares Plans Int’l TIPs ETF With US Debt

September 02, 2010

BlackRock, the parent company of iShares and the world’s largest money manager, filed for a new international sovereign debt fixed-income exchange-traded fund that includes debt from the U.S. that’s designed to protect investors from inflation.

The Global Inflation-Linked Bond Fund will track the BofA Merrill Lynch Global Diversified Inflation-Linked Index, a market-value-weighted capped total return index designed to measure the performance of inflation-linked sovereign debt.

Currently, the index consists of 167 issues from 17 developed and emerging economies: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey, the U.K. and the

The index is rebalanced on the last calendar day of every month, and a sovereign debt issuer is removed if it defaults on any of its debt, including noninflation-linked bonds. No single issuer can account for more than 22.5 percent of total assets.

BlackRock’s filing arrives in the midst of increasing investor concern over the developed world’s ability to resume economic growth in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown. Investors poured $3.8 billion into emerging market funds in August, while pulling $11.1 billion out of large-cap
equity ETFs, according to data compiled by

Although bonds were appealing to investors in August, another BlackRock inflation-linked product, the iShares Barclays TIPS Bond ETF (NYSEArca: TIP), actually had outflows of $332.8 million. If the specter of near-term deflation in the
materializes, then TIPS, or Treasury inflation-protected securities, and other inflation-linked bonds from countries grappling with deflationary pressures, could wind up losing value.

BlackRock said in its filing that the Global Inflation-Linked Bond Fund will be passively managed, but it reserves the right to invest up to 20 percent of assets in futures, options and swaps contracts, as well as cash and cash equivalents. BlackRock Financial Advisors will manage the day-to-day operation of the fund.

BlackRock didn’t specify a ticker symbol or expense ratio for the new fund. The paperwork will become effective 75 days from the filing date.

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