Barclays Reportedly Mulling Index Sale to MSCI

ETF Trends

British banking giant Barclays (BCS) is reportedly mulling the sale of its fixed income index business  following an overture from index provider MSCI (MSCI).

The news was initially reported earlier this week by Reuters.

It could not be determined how much Barclays would get for the unit or how much MSCI offered, Reuters reported.

Barclays is the index provider for some of the largest bond ETFs, including the $2.7 billion iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) , the $14.6 billion iShares Core Total U.S. Bond Market ETF (AGG) and the SPDR Barclays High Yield Bond ETF (JNK) , the second-largest junk bond ETF, among others.

Nearly $2.3 trillion in ETF and mutual fund assets track Barclays indices, according to Reuters.

A move on the Barclays bond index business by MSCI makes sense because some observers see MSCI as needing to bolster its fixed income index offerings.

The firm, however, is a giant and one of the most recognizable brands in terms of underlying indices for equity-based ETFs.

The $4.8 billion iShares MSCI ACWI ETF (ACWI) , $42.5 billion iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) and $50.2 billion iShares MSCI EAFE ETF (EFA) are among the ETFs benchmarked to MSCI indices.

ETF Trends editorial team contributed to this piece. Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of EEM, EFA and JNK.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.

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