A Look at Japanese Bond ETFs | ETF Trends

There has been a ton of focus on the Japanese equity market and access to it via ETPs such as the $10.4 billion DXJ (WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity, Expense Ratio 0.48%) and the $10.8 billion EWJ (iShares MSCI Japan, Expense Ratio
0.51%) each of which have impressively reeled in $8.4 and $4.6 billion in new assets just year to date.

However, what about the Japanese bond market in 2013, for we have not heard much about it in terms of how one might access the space via ETPs.

There is probably good reason for this, as there are only four ETPs listed in the U.S. currently that are dedicated to focused Japanese bond exposure, and three of these four are either leveraged, inverse, or both. JGBL (PowerShares DB Japanese Government Bond Futures ETN, Expense Ratio 0.50%) debuted in March of 2011 and currently has $5.2 million in assets under management while averaging about 9,600 shares traded on an average daily basis.

It is fair to say that it has evaded the radars of most institutional managers judging by its fund size thus far. JGBL intends to track the DB USD JGB Futures Index, which is a measure of the performance of taking a long position in 10-year JGB futures.

The underlying bonds in this index are issued by Japan’s government and typically have a term to maturity between 7-11 years.