“The new S&P benchmark for ITOT provides greater breadth of coverage relative to the current index with over 2,000 additional small-cap and micro-cap stocks,” Weiss added.
Along with the fee cuts and ITOT’s benchmark changes, iShares also launched a currency-hedged Core International Aggregate Bond ETF. IAGG will try to reflect the performance of international investment-grade bonds while mitigating foreign currency risks. IAGG will be competing against the Vanguard Total International Bond ETF (NYSEArca: BNDX), which has a 0.19% expense ratio and also tracks foreign investment-grade debt while hedging against currency risks.
“However, the index IAGG will track has a lower issuer cap than BNDX, which we think will reduce the iShares ETF’s exposure to Japanese sovereign bonds for example,” Todd Rosenbluth, S&P Capital IQ Director of ETF Research, said in a research note. “We expect that the different exposures will impact the ETF’s duration, yield and performance.”
Lastly, iShares kicked out GNMA from its Core lineup, so the ETF will change its name to the iShares GNMA Bond ETF.
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Max Chen contributed to this article.