State Street’s Convertibles ETF Features New Tesla Bonds

ETF Trends

The SPDR Barclays Convertible Securities ETF (CWB) , the only U.S.-listed ETF devoted exclusively to convertible bonds, now features exposure to the recent offering from Elon Musk’s Tesla (TSLA).

In late February, California-based Tesla, the high-flying electric car maker, announced a $1.6 billion convertible notes offering comprised of $800 million aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes due 2019 and $800 million aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes due 2021, according to a statement from the company. Underwriters were also granted an option to purchase an additional $120 million of both the bonds due 2019 and 2021.

The company wound up selling “$800 million of 0.25 percent, five-year notes and $1.2 billion of 1.25 percent, seven-year securities,” according to Bloomberg.

The $2.4 billion CWB allocated 1.31% of its weight to the new Tesla convertibles, bringing the ETF’s total weight to convertible bonds issued by the car manufacturer to 2.52%, State Street Global Advisors Vice President and Head of Research David Mazza told ETF Trends.

Prior to the addition of the new Tesla bonds, CWB had a 1.21% allocation to Tesla convertibles maturing in June 2018 with a coupon of 1.5%, according State Street data. The bonds maturing in March 2019 account for 0.69% of CWB’s weight while Tesla’s offering maturing in March 2021 is 0.62% of the ETF’s weight.

Convertibles are among the bond world’s best performers in environments of rising interest rates, explaining why CWB was one of 2013’s top bond ETFs. Convertible bonds can be looked at as “best of both worlds” securities. Since the bonds can be converted into stock of the issuer, convertibles are often more intimately correlated to equities than other segments of the bond market. But like bonds, convertibles promise coupon payments and return of principal at a set date. [Convertibles are Cruising]

“In fact, convertibles are negatively correlated to U.S. Treasuries and broad fixed income benchmarks such as the Barclays U.S. Aggregate,” said Mazza. “Adding U.S. convertible securities to a portfolio with traditional fixed income may increase risk-adjusted returns, improve the portfolio’s drawdown and decrease its interest rate risk.”

CWB has a 30-day SEC yield of 2.44% and an average yield to worst of 2.77%. The ETF holds 99 convertible issues.

SPDR Barclays Convertible Securities ETF

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