iShares Rolls Out Fallen Angel, Ex-Energy Bond ETFs

BlackRock (NYSE: BLK) has expanded its line of iShares fixed-income exchange traded funds to include two more speculative-grade options that help bond investors target so-called fallen angels and the high-yield market sans energy exposure.

The iShares Fallen Angels USD Bond ETF (NasdaqGM: FALN) and iShares iBoxx $ High Yield ex Oil & Gas Corporate Bond ETF (NasdaqGM: HYXE) began trading today, according to a press release. FALN has a 0.35% expense ratio and HYXE has a 0.50% expense ratio.

“With interest rates at historic and persistent low levels, investors continue to search for yield in their fixed income portfolios,” Matthew Tucker, Head of iShares Americas Fixed Income Strategy at BlackRock, said in a statement.

Specifically, FALN tracks so-called fallen angel speculative-grade rated debt, or debt securities that were initially issued with an investment-grade rating but were later downgraded to junk territory.

Related: High Quality Junk Bond ETFs Limit Default Risk

Fallen angel issuers tend to be larger and more established than many other junk bond issuers. Furthermore, since these fallen angels were formerly on the cusp of investment-grade status, this group of junk bonds typically has a higher average credit quality than many other speculative-grade debt-related funds. FALN’s credit quality exposure includes BB-rated 65.1%, B-rated 29.8% and CCC-rated 1.1%.

The iShares fallen angel bond ETF will be competing with the more established VanEck Fallen Angel High Yield Bond ETF (NYSEArca: ANGL).