ETF LAUNCH: High-Yield Municipal Bonds (HYD)

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Van Eck Global has announced the launch of a new ETF to track the high-yield municipal bond market.  This is under its Market Vectors program and is called the  High-Yield Municipal Index ETF (NYX: HYD). This looks like the first ETFdesigned to track the high-yield municipal bond sector.  This willallow investors to trade a basket of muni’s without having to conductdue diligence on individual bond issuers. 

The ETF’s totalnet expenses are 0.35%. It is designed to track the performance of theBarclays Capital Municipal Custom High Yield Composite Index.

The index is weighted 75% in bonds with ratings under the "BBB" markfor junk bonds, and has a 25% weighting in BBB-rated bonds.  Of thenon-investment grade weightings, some 31.2% are non-ratedsecurities.  Some 75% of the index is in bonds issued as part oftransactions of at least $100 million in size.

As of December 31, the fund had the following sub-sector weightings inmunicipal issues: health care 21.4%, industrial development 14.7%,special tax 13.5% and airports 13.5%.  Its market yield was also 9.5%rather than about 4% for the muni market as a whole.

Jon C. Ogg
February 5, 2009