Our weekly roundup of new fund launches

BlackRock’s iShares adds 3 corporate bond ETFs
BlackRock’s iShares unit added three new corporate bond ETFs to its lineup, including the iShares 5-10 Year Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (MLQD), Investopedia reports.

MLQD, which has an expense ratio of 0.06%, “seeks to track the investment results of an index composed of U.S. dollar-denominated, investment-grade corporate bonds with remaining maturities between five and 10 years,” according to iShares.

BlackRock's iShares​ unit added three ETFs to its lineup of investment-grade corporate bond funds.
BlackRock's iShares​ unit added three ETFs to its lineup of investment-grade corporate bond funds. Bloomberg News

In addition, the iShares 10+ Year Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LLQD), which has an expense ratio of 0.06%, was launched for investors seeking longer-dated corporate bond exposure. The iShares iBonds Dec 2027 Corporate Bond ETF (IBDS) tracks the Bloomberg Barclays December 2027 Maturity Corporate Index. The fund, which holds 180 bonds with an effective duration of nearly eight years, has an expense ratio of 0.10%.

The holdings in each of the three new ETFs are rated A to BBB, according to the firm.

Goldman Sachs expands suite of ETFs
Goldman Sachs Asset Management announced last week that it is expanding its Access Suite of ETFs by launching the Goldman Sachs Access High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (GHYB). The fund, which requires a minimum investment of $1,000, aims to offer low-cost access to high-yield corporate bond markets.

"The Goldman Sachs Access High Yield Corporate Bond ETF seeks to offer investors an innovative approach to access high-yield corporate bonds, with a focus on eliminating underperforming assets to potentially provide a smoother ride and better risk-adjusted returns for investors," GSAM's Global Head of ETF Strategy Michael Crinieri said in a statement.

Morningstar kills off standalone ETF conference
There will be one less conference for managers to attend, after Morningstar decided to end its standalone event featuring ETFs.

The conference will now be integrated into the Morningstar Investment Conference, which will take place next June, said a company spokeswoman.

“Advisors today take a holistic view when they serve clients; they don’t think about mutual funds and exchange-traded/passive funds separately,” the spokeswoman said in a statement.
“To serve advisors in a way that makes the most sense for their business, we made the decision to incorporate passive investing into our main flagship event.”

iCapital to buy Deutsche Bank’s $2.5B fund portfolio
ICapital Network will acquire the U.S. Private Equity Access Fund Platform from Deutsche Bank. The portfolio includes 33 funds with $2.5 billion in invested assets and more than 7,000 domestic and international investors. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We see this deal as an important step forward in our mission to connect alternative asset managers with high-net-worth individuals,” stated iCapital CEO Lawrence Calcano.

ICapital said it would maintain the funds’ third-party service providers and offer positions to the 18 employees currently managing the fund portfolio and servicing the investors within Deutsche Asset Management.

New ETF from Global X
Global X Funds announced the launch of the Global X U.S. Preferred ETF (PFFD), which has an expense ratio of 0.23% and tracks the BofA Merrill Lunch Diversifies Core U.S. Preferred Securities Index.

“Investors continue to contend with low interest rates and narrow credit spreads, making sufficient income difficult to come by,” said Jay Jacobs, director of research at Global X. “Preferreds, however, currently have attractive yields that sets them apart from other traditional income-generating asset classes like investment grade bonds and REITs.”

KraneShares MSCI to list on NYSE
Inspired by Chinese President Xi Jinping's initiative to modernize the original Silk Road trading routes, the KraneShares MSCI One Belt One Road ETF (OBOR) will hold companies from countries across the region participating in the project.

The fund, which has an expense ratio of 0.79%, delivers its investment theme through the MSCI Global China Infrastructure Exposure Index, which reflects the performance of companies with high revenue exposure to Chinese infrastructure development under the One Belt One Road initiative.

CBOE Holdings plans options launch on S&P
CBOE plans to launch options on the 10 S&P Select Sector Indices that comprise the S&P 500 in late fourth-quarter 2017 or early 2018, pending regulatory approval, the firm said.

Expected to be exclusively listed on the Chicago exchange, the launch is aimed to provide exposure to widely followed U.S. equity sectors represented in the S&P 500.

Franklin Templeton adds new municipal bond ETFs
Franklin Templeton Investments has added two new actively managed municipal bond ETFs to its Franklin Liberty Shares pipeline.

Franklin Liberty Intermediate Municipal Opportunities ETF (FLMI) and Franklin Liberty Municipal Bond ETF (FLMB) will expand the company's offering of fixed income ETFs. FLMI and FLMB each carry net expenses of 30 basis points.

"Leveraging Templeton's world class municipal bond platform with more than $71 billion in assets under management, these actively managed ETFs seek to generate yield exempt from federal taxes, allowing investors to keep more of what they earn," Franklin Templeton Investments head of Global ETFs Patrick O'Conner said in a statement.

FLMI is managed by James Conn, senior vice president and portfolio manager, Christopher Sperry, vice president and portfolio manager, and Daniel Workman, vice president and portfolio manager. FLMB is managed by Conn, Sperry, and Nicholas Bucklin, vice president and portfolio manager.

This mutual fund wants to 'Make America Great Again'
Inspired by President Trump's campaign promise to "Make America Great Again," the Point Bridge GOP Stock Tracker ETF will list under the ticker MAGA and invest in companies that it believes support the Republican Party.

Point Bridge Capital is planning a set of what it is calling "politically responsible investing" products, Reuters reports.

Annual expenses for the fund are at 0.72% and it is expected to list on BATS.

The fund is going to invest in a group of S&P 500 companies that has employees or political action committees that donate money to back Republican candidates. The data will be based on public filings with the Federal Election Commission.

New UCITS ETF offers easy access to Europe
ETF entrepreneurs Hector McNeil and Nik Bienkowski are launching Europe's first white label UCITS ETF platform.

The platform will be known as HANetf and is designed to be a "one stop shop" for asset managers that want to enter the European UCITS ETF market without actually establishing a full service business. The aim is to disrupt the market by lowering the barriers to enter for asset managers.

Europe is the second largest ETF market in the world, behind the U.S., with just under $700 billion of assets under management.

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