State Street’s new fund, the first international corporate bond ETF to hit the scene, launched this morning. The SPDR Barclays Capital International Corporate Bond ETF (NYSEArca: IBND) tracks the Barclays Capital Global Aggregate ex-USD >$1B: Corporate Bond Index. The index tracks investment-grade corporate bonds outside the United States.
IBND is a useful way to further diversify bond exposure, since it gives investors access to debt that’s denominated in the local currency. International corporate bonds also tend to pay yield premiums over sovereign debt of similar durations.
The fund has its heaviest weightings in financials (46.9%), industrials (39.5%) and utilities (11.6%). Bonds in the fund are rated Baa or higher; nearly 50% of the bonds are rated A or better. The annual expense ratio is 0.55%.
State Street may not be the lone international corporate bond ETF for long – PowerShares has also filed to launch one of their own: The International Corporate Bond Portfolio (NYSEArca: PICB). Oliver Ludwig for Index Universe reports that the fund will have a 0.50% expense ratio and will be based on the S&P International Corporate Bond Index. [What Type of Bond ETF Works for You?]