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Barclays Capital launches GDP weighted benchmark bond indices

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Barclays Capital, the investment banking division of Barclays Bank, has launched a family of benchmark bond indices that use gross domestic product to weight country blocs within an index.

The new benchmark family widens the choice for investors beyond existing flagship indices which weight index eligible securities by their market value.

The GDP weighted bond indices are the latest offering from Barclays Capital using an alternative weighting methodology and complement existing issuer capped, country capped, composite weight and float adjusted benchmark index families.

Using published GDP data, this new family calculates target index weights for different index country blocs as a percentage of GDP rather than weighting each bond by its market value.

The GDP weighting methodology is available for flagship benchmarks such as the Global Aggregate and Global Treasury Indices and other universal benchmarks that include both developed market and emerging markets debt.

Bespoke benchmark solutions can also be adapted to use this new rules-based alternative weighting scheme.

“Barclays Capital offers a broad and evolving suite of index products from which investors are able to select or customize the most appropriate benchmark for their portfolio needs,” says Waqas Samad, head of index, portfolio and risk solutions for Barclays Capital. “By continuing to launch fixed income indices that are in demand by global investors, like the new GDP weighted index family, Barclays Capital is in a unique position to offer index and portfolio risk solutions truly tailored to an index user’s specific market perspective.”

Barclays Capital has also expanded its family of universal benchmark bond indices that combine broad investment-grade benchmarks with other emerging markets or high-yield indices. New indices include a Global Treasury Universal benchmark that adds local currency emerging market debt to the existing Global Treasury Index, and a Global Treasury Universal Plus Index that combines local currency and foreign currency government debt from developed and emerging market issuers into a single benchmark. These indices are available using market value weights as well as part of the new GDP weighted index family.

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