BGI Launches iShares ETF for Mortgage-Back Securities

Barclays Global Investors’ (BGI) iShares Lehman MBS Fixed-Rate Bond Fund, a fixed income exchange-traded fund (ETF) that tracks a mortgage-backed securities index, has begun trading on the American Stock Exchange.

According to a press release, the underlying index measures the performance of investment grade fixed-rate mortgage-backed pass-through securities of the Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA), Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC).

It includes 387 securities issued by GNMA, FHLMC, and FNMA that have 30-, 20-, 15-year and balloon securities that have a remaining maturity of at least one year and have more than $250 million or more of outstanding face value. The securities must be denominated in U.S. dollars and must be fixed-rate and non-convertible.

The fund, which has an annual expense ratio of 0.25%, uses a representative sampling strategy in seeking to track the underlying index.

“For the first time investors are able to observe intra-day pricing of a basket of mortgage securities, and have the flexibility to implement their market views throughout the trading day,’ said Lee Kranefuss, CEO of BGI’s Intermediary and Exchange Traded Funds Business, in the release. “Investors can place limit and stop-loss orders on the iShares MBS Fund that allow them to better time entry and exit into the market, and the fund can be shorted on a downtick, making it a valuable risk management tool.”

The new offering by BGI brings the fixed income iShares family to a total of 15 funds.