Vanguard today said that it is readying the Vanguard Total International Bond Index Fund and its exchange-traded fund shares to launch by the end of the second quarter.

The fund will offer conventional shares (Investor, Admiral, and Institutional) with projected expense ratios ranging from 12 basis points to 23 bps. The ETF shares have a projected expense ratio of 20 bps.

The company also announced that the fund will be added as a component to Vanguard’s funds of funds, including the Vanguard Target Retirement Funds, Vanguard LifeStrategy Funds, two of three Vanguard Managed Payout Funds, and two insurance portfolios. Each fund of funds will apportion 20% of its fixed income allocation to the Total International Bond Index Fund.

In a statement, Vanguard CEO Bill McNabb noted that Vanguard research found that a strategic allocation to hedged international bonds substantially broadens a U.S. bond portfolio, which can further moderate risk in a diversified portfolio.

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