One asset class that will be a battleground for ETF providers in coming years is the market for emerging market corporate debt.
For example, this week Van Eck launched a new fund focuses on U.S. dollar-denominated high-yield bonds in emerging market countries.
Market Vectors Emerging Markets High Yield Bond ETF (NYSEArca: HYEM) tracks an index comprised of U.S. dollar-denominated debt issued by non-sovereign emerging market issuers rated BB1 or lower. [Van Eck Lists High-Yield Emerging Market ETF]
Other ETFs introduced this year that invests in emerging market corporate bonds include iShares Emerging Markets High Yield Bond Fund (BATS: EMHY) and the WisdomTree Emerging Markets Corporate Bond Fund (NasdaqGM: EMCB).
Josh Brown at the Reformed Broker blog notes the asset management industry has been interested in emerging market bonds, but mostly in the form of sovereign debt – bonds from the countries themselves.
“And now that the acceptance is mainstream, there is a brand new asset class nudging its way into professionally managed portfolios that I’m just now starting to consider myself. We’re talking Emerging Markets Corporate Debt — bonds from highly-rated issuing companies in the EM regions as opposed to the countries themselves,” he wrote in a recent blog post.
“The logic makes sense — if we own both corporate bonds and Treasury bonds in our fixed-income allocations here, so why would we not do the same abroad?” Brown said.
He pointed out WisdomTree Emerging Markets Corporate Bond (EMCB), which is actively managed. It was launched in March. Bond manager and Legg Mason (NYSE: LM) subsidiary Western Asset Management is a sub-advisor to the fund. [Investors Get First ETF for Emerging Market Corporate Bonds]
Also, iShares Emerging Markets Corporate Bond Fund (BATS: CEMB) hit the market last month. It provides access to high-yield bonds denominated in U.S. dollars. [iShares Lists New High-Yield ETFs]