February 21, 2017 / 12:55 PM / 6 months ago

Stoxx launches more granular corporate bond indices

LONDON, Feb 21 (IFR) - Deutsche Boerse's index business Stoxx has set up a new series of indices to track the bond values of Europe's biggest companies, after launching its blue-chip corporate bond index last year.

Stoxx is looking to build on its fixed-income index offering after launching, in April 2016, the Euro Stoxx 50 Corporate Bond Index - a fixed-income version of its well-known Euro Stoxx 50 equity index.

That was Stoxx's first bond index, and was designed to act as an underlying benchmark for index-tracking exchange-traded funds (ETFs), whose assets under management have ballooned in recent years as investors have sought easy access to a central bank-fueled bull market in bonds.

In May the firm launched a series of multi-asset indices, ranging from 'high stability' to 'high growth', based on different weightings of equities and corporate bonds from the two flagship indices - again aimed at providing more focused benchmarks for ETFs and other funds to track.

Its new corporate bond sub-indices represent several maturity buckets, industry sectors and rating classes.

The different versions allow investors to "more efficiently and accurately capture their fine-tuned views in European credit markets", helping them match desired strategies, Stoxx chief executive Matteo Andreetto said in a statement on Tuesday.

The maturity buckets are: one to three years, three to five years, five to seven years, and over seven years.

There will also be a Corporate Bond Financials index, a Corporate Bond Ex-Financials with more maturity buckets and a "higher quality AAA-A" version, the firm said.

The Euro Stoxx 50 Corporate Bond Index and its sub-indices are comprised solely of corporate bonds issued by companies that are in the Euro Stoxx 50 index at the time of the rebalancing, it added.

The indices are weighted by market capitalisation and to be eligible bonds must have a remaining maturity of at least 15 months and have at least €750m outstanding. No floating-rate or sub-investment grade bonds will be included.

Stoxx's real-time bond prices are provided by ICE Data Services. (Reporting by Tom Porter)

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