Toronto-based BlackRock Canada Asset Management Ltd. and financial data firm Bloomberg LP are launching a new effort to enhance the transparency and comparability of fixed-income exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in Canada.

The two firms announced jointly on Wednesday that they are introducing a standard methodology for assessing characteristics, such as yield, spread and duration for fixed-income ETFs.

The initiative, which follows a similar effort in the U.S. and the U.K. last year, will enable investors to analyze Canadian-listed fixed-income ETFs using the same metrics that are available for other bond and derivative products, the firms state in an a release.

“This innovation will serve to enhance investors’ ability to conduct intraday analysis of different ETFs and between ETFs and other fixed-income instruments across multiple trading platforms,” the release states.

“The introduction of a market standard for fixed-income ETFs is an important step forward in evolving the fixed-income ETF ecosystem,” said Warren Collier, head of iShares, BlackRock Canada. “This development will help to simplify the institutional investor experience around fixed-income ETFs and deliver more transparency to market participants.”

BlackRock reports that assets under management (AUM) of fixed-income ETFs totalled almost $28 billion at the end of 2015 in Canada while global AUM in fixed-income ETFs was almost US$600 billion.

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