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QLTB

After capping off one of the strongest first quarters in 14 years, major benchmarks have stalled their rally, as conflicting data from all around the world has put markets in a rut. As we head into the summer months, investors will hope overarching issues, like European debt, will cool off but all indications point to Spain being the next Greece, so don’t expect that to happen anytime soon. Though the month was relatively busy for the financial world, the ETF universe moved along at a steady but moderate pace, with the introduction of 19 new products. Below, we outline all of the new launches from the month to keep you up to date on all of the latest offerings available [for updates on all new ETFs, sign up for the free ETFdb newsletter]:

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iShares continues to expand its suite of fixed income ETFs in 2012, rolling out a pair of ETFs that bring a new level of granularity to corporate bonds. The Baa-Ba Rated Corporate Bond Fund (QLTB) and B-Ca Rated Corporate Bond Fund (QLTC) will seek to replicate indexes comprised of bonds with specific credit ratings, segmenting the universe of corporate debt into multiple buckets. Currently, the products in the High Yield Bonds ETFdb Category and Corporate Bonds ETFdb Category generally hold securities with multiple credit ratings, covering a wider range of the risk/return spectrum.

The Baa-Ba Rated ETF (QLTB) will straddle the line between investment grade and non-investment grade. Generally, bonds rated Baa3 or higher are considered to be investment grade, while those rated Ba1 and lower are in “junk” status. QLTC will focus its portfolio on bonds that are substantial credit risks, including some components that are in default with little hope of recovery [see Better-Than-AGG Total Bond Market ETFdb Portfolio].

iShares had previously launched the Aaa-A Rated Corporate Bond Fund (QLTA), which focuses on the highest quality investment grade corporate bonds.

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