Emerging markets ETFs

ETF provider iShares has launched two new ETFs on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

The iShares JPMorgan $ Emerging Markets Bond fund offers access to US dollar-denominated sovereign and quasi-sovereign bonds issued by emerging market countries in ETF form.

The iShares S&P Emerging Markets Infrastructure fund is designed to provide liquid exposure to 30 of the largest publicly listed emerging market companies in the global infrastructure industry, focusing on transportation infrastructure (20%), energy infrastructure (40%) and utilities (40%).

Short and leveraged ETCs

ETF Securities (ETFS) has introduced 33 short ETCs and 33 leveraged ETCs to its ETC platform.

The new ETCs are all priced off indices and sub-indices of the Dow Jones AIG Commodities index.

They will comprise 19 individual commodities and nine sub-indices. In addition, four new commodities - cocoa, lead, tin and platinum - will be added. According to ETFS, short ETCs will enable investors to gain from falls in commodity prices, while leveraged ETCs will enable investors to gain from rising commodity prices, providing exposure with 50% less capital.

Sterling and Fed overnight indices tracking ETFs

Deutsche Bank’s exchange traded funds platform db x-trackers has developed two new ETFs tracking Sterling and Fed overnight indices.

The Sterling Overnight Index Account SONIA and the Fed Funds Effective Rate total return index aim to offer investors access to short-term money market interest rates.

db x-trackers has also listed the first three short Markit iTraxx ETFs on Deutsche Börse as part of its ETF platform. They are based on credit indices developed by data provider Markit. The launch of these three UCITS III funds is designed to allow European investors to buy credit protection in an ETF format via an exchange.

New thematic and strategy equity indices

Investment tool provider MSCI Barra has announced the launch the first four indices belonging to its new MSCI Thematic & Strategy indices family. The MSCI Short, MSCI Leveraged, MSCI Infrastructure and MSCI Equal Weighted indices aim to capture the beta of specific investment themes and strategies.

The latter two indices have been available since late January, and the others will be available from the end of May.

Global Benchmark Shariah indices

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has created three new benchmark indices designed to help investors track the performance of the largest global universe of more than $20trn (€13.7trn) of Shariah-compliant equities.

The three indices - S&P LargeCap World Shariah, S&P SmallCap World Shariah and S&P UK Shariah - cover 26 developed markets and join Standard & Poor’s line-up of investable sector, region and strategy Shariah indices developed for investors seeking to abide by Islamic law.

S&P has also launched the S&P Global Dividend Opportunities index and the S&P International Dividend Opportunities index. Both are designed to serve as alpha-generating indices for income-seeking investors, providing exposure to high-yielding stocks throughout the world.

ESG India index

S&P has joined India’s ratings and research company CRISIL and social and environmental research firm KLD Research & Analytics to launch the S&P ESG India Index.

Initiated and sponsored by the International Finance Corporation, the index comprises 50 Indian companies that meet certain environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria. They are drawn from the largest 500 companies listed on the National Stock Exchange of India through a two-stage screening process.

The index aims to provide investors with an instrument to incorporate sustainability measures into their investment decisions and provide a model for the launch of similar indices in other emerging markets.