New High-Yield Bond ETF Protects Against Rising Rates

May 23rd at 11:10am by John Spence

One hot area in the ETF market is bond products that provide decent yields while also providing some cushion against the negative impact of rising interest rates.

For example, bank loan ETFs such as PowerShares Senior Loan Portfolio (NYSEArca: BKLN) have seen hefty inflows this year. They pay above-average yields and have a built-in buffer against higher rates since the ETFs track floating-rate securities. [Bank Loan ETF Inflows Continue to Amaze]

“Several strategists have spoken about rotating out of high-yield corporate bond ETFs and into bank loan ETFs at these price levels, so we may be seeing these words put into action by institutional managers,” said Paul Weisbruch, head of ETF/options sales and trading at Street One Financial.

Also, some investors are using high-yield ETFs with shorter durations to maintain exposure to the asset class while reducing rate risk. These funds include PIMCO 0-5 Year High Yield Corporate Bond Index (NYSEArca: HYS) and SPDR Barclays Short Term High Yield Bond ETF (NYSEArca: SJNK). [High-Yield Bond ETFs that Protect Against Rising Interest Rates]

Now, ETF provider ProShares is going a step further with a new high-yield bond ETF that seeks to all but eliminate the risk of rising rates.

The Bethesda, Md.-based firm on Thursday launched ProShares High Yield-Interest Rate Hedged (BATS: HYHG). The ETF uses Treasury futures to provide a built-in hedge against rising interest rates.

HYHG maintains short positions in 2-, 5- and 10-year U.S. Treasury futures contracts to hedge its portfolio against possible rate increases.

The new ProShares ETF looks like it will be competing with Market Vectors Treasury-Hedged High Yield Bond ETF (NYSEArca: THHY) and First Trust High Yield Long/Short ETF (NasdaqGM: HYLS). [Hedged Junk Bond ETF]

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