TEXT-S&P rates 2 iShares fixed-income exchange-traded funds

Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:18am EDT

April 26 - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services today said it assigned its
'BBB-f' fund credit quality and 'S3' volatility ratings on the iShares Baa - Ba
Rated Corporate Bond Fund and its 'B-f' fund credit quality and 'S5'
volatility ratings on the iShares B - Ca Rated Corporate Bond Fund.	
	
The funds are among the more than 215 investment portfolios of the iShares 	
Trust. The trust was organized as a Delaware statutory trust on Dec. 16, 1999, 	
and is authorized to have multiple series or portfolios. The trust is an 	
open-end management investment company registered under the Investment Company 	
Act of 1940 as amended. The offering of the trust's shares is registered under 	
the Securities Act of 1933 as amended. The shares of the trust are listed and 	
traded at market prices on national securities exchanges.	
	
BlackRock Fund Advisors (BFA), the funds' investment adviser, is a subsidiary 	
of BlackRock Inc. As of March 31, 2012, BlackRock Inc. and its affiliates 	
provided investment advisory services for assets estimated at $3.684 trillion. 	
State Street Bank & Trust Co. is the administrator, custodian, and transfer 	
agent for the funds. BlackRock Investments LLC, a subsidiary of BlackRock 	
Inc., is the funds' distributor.  	
	
BFA uses a passive or indexing approach to achieve the funds' investment 	
objectives. The funds, launched this week, seek investment results that 	
correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and 	
expenses, of the corresponding underlying index. The underlying index for the 	
iShares Baa - Ba Rated Corporate Bond Fund is the Barclays Capital U.S. 	
Corporate Baa - Ba Capped Index, a subset of the Barclays U.S. Corporate Index 	
and Barclays U.S. Corporate High Yield Index that measures the performance of 	
the taxable Baa1 - Ba3 rated range of the fixed-rate U.S. dollar-denominated 	
corporate bond market. The underlying index for the iShares B - Ca Rated 	
Corporate Bond Fund is the Barclays Capital U.S. Corporate B - Ca Capped 	
Index, a subset of the Barclays U.S. Corporate High Yield Index that measures 	
the performance of the taxable B1 - Ca rated range of the fixed-rate U.S. 	
dollar-denominated corporate bond market.	
	
Our fund credit quality ratings, identified by the 'f' subscript, reflect the 	
level of protection the fund provides against losses from credit defaults. The 	
credit quality ratings scale ranges from 'AAAf' (extremely strong protection 	
against losses from credit defaults) to 'CCCf' (extremely vulnerable to losses 	
from credit defaults). The ratings from 'AAf' to 'CCCf' may be modified by the 	
addition of a plus (+) or minus (-) sign to show relative standing within the 	
major rating categories.	
	
Our fund volatility ratings, identified by the 'S' scale, are based on our 	
current opinion of a fixed-income fund's sensitivity to changing market 	
conditions, relative to a portfolio made up of government securities and 	
denominated in the base currency of the fund. The volatility ratings are based 	
on a scale from 'S1' (lowest sensitivity) to 'S6' (highest sensitivity). 	
Volatility ratings evaluate sensitivity to factors such as interest rate 	
movements, credit risk, and liquidity.	
	
We will monitor the fund monthly to ensure the consistency of the credit and 	
volatility profiles with the assigned ratings.	
	
RELATED CRITERIA AND RESEARCH	
     -- Fund Credit Quality Rating Criteria, Feb. 2, 2007	
     -- Fund Volatility Rating Criteria, Feb. 2, 2007	
	
	
	
Complete ratings information is available to subscribers of RatingsDirect on 	
the Global Credit Portal at www.globalcreditportal.com. All ratings affected 	
by this rating action can be found on Standard & Poor's public Web site at 	
www.standardandpoors.com. Use the Ratings search box located in the left 	
column.
A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Find your dream retirement town

Florida? Hawaii? Reuters has teamed up with Zillow to give you the power to customize a list of your best places to retire.  Video | Full Article