Market Vectors ETFs today announced that the Intermediate Municipal Index ETF (NYSE Arca: ITM), has received a 4-star rating from Morningstar for the three-year, five-year and overall time periods.* There are 221 funds in the Morningstar Muni National Intermediate category for the three-and-five year period and 194 funds in the five-year period. ITM is the first in a lineup of six Market Vectors municipal bond ETFs to reach the five-year performance milestone, and one of four of the funds currently rated 4-stars overall by Morningstar.
“Intermediate-duration bonds, meaning those with a maturity in the six to 17 year range, are a crucial component of a complete municipal bond investment strategy, and ITM allows investors to gain targeted exposure to these maturities,” said James Colby, Portfolio Manager and Senior Municipal Strategist with Market Vectors ETFs. “We’re very pleased to receive this recognition from Morningstar.” In addition to overseeing the Market Vectors family of ETFs, Mr. Colby regularly writes about the municipal bond market in his blog Muni Nation.
ITM launched in December 2007, and was among the first municipal bond ETFs brought to market. ITM seeks to replicate as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield performance of the Barclays AMT-Free Intermediate Continuous Municipal Index (LMT2TR). The index is a market value weighted index designed to replicate the price movements of medium-duration bonds.
ITM has an expense ratio of 0.24% and its $740 million in assets makes it the second-largest ETF behind Market Vectors High-Yield Municipal Index ETF in the Market Vectors municipal income lineup, which had a combined $2.2 billion in AUM as of December 31, 2012.
The other funds in this suite include Market Vectors CEF Municipal Income ETF (NYSE Arca: XMPT), Market Vectors High-Yield Municipal Index ETF (NYSE Arca: HYD), Market Vectors Long Municipal Index ETF (NYSE Arca: MLN), Market Vectors Pre-Refunded Municipal Index ETF (NYSE Arca: PRB), and Market Vectors Short Municipal Index ETF (NYSE Arca: SMB).
More information on ITM or any other Market Vectors income-oriented ETFs can be found here.
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*For each fund with at least a three-year history, Morningstar calculates a Morningstar Rating™ based on a Morningstar Risk-Adjusted Return measure that accounts for variation in a fund’s monthly performance (including the effects of sales charges, loads, and redemption fees), placing more emphasis on downward variations and rewarding consistent performance. The top 10% of funds in each category receive 5 stars, the next 22.5% receive 4 stars, the next 35% receive 3 stars, the next 22.5% receive 2 stars and the bottom 10% receive 1 star. (Each share class is counted as a fraction of one fund within this scale and rated separately, which may cause slight variations in the distribution percentages.) The Overall Morningstar Rating for a fund is derived from a weighted average of the performance figures associated with its three-, five- and ten-year (if applicable) Morningstar Rating metrics. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
About Market Vectors ETFs
Market Vectors exchange-traded products have been offered since 2006 and span many asset classes, including equities, fixed income (municipal and international bonds) and currency markets. The Market Vectors family currently totals $27.6 billion in assets under management, making it the fifth largest ETP family in the U.S. and eighth largest worldwide as of December 31, 2012.
Market Vectors ETFs are sponsored by Van Eck Global. Founded in 1955, Van Eck Global was among the first U.S. money managers helping investors achieve greater diversification through global investing. Today, the firm continues this tradition by offering innovative, actively managed investment choices in hard assets, emerging markets, precious metals including gold, and other alternative asset classes. Van Eck Global has offices around the world and manages approximately $36.6 billion in investor assets as of December 31, 2012.
Municipal bonds are subject to risks related to litigation, legislation, political change, conditions in underlying sectors or in local business communities and economies, bankruptcy or other changes in the issuer’s financial condition, and/or the discontinuance of taxes supporting the project or assets or the inability to collect revenues for the project or from the assets. Additional risks include credit, interest rate, call, reinvestment, tax, market and lease obligation risk. High-yield municipal bonds are subject to greater risk of loss of income and principal than higher-rated securities, and are likely to be more sensitive to adverse economic changes or individual municipal developments than those of higher-rated securities. Interest and principal payments for pre-refunded bonds are funded from securities in an escrow account. The escrowed securities do not guarantee the price of these bonds. Municipal bonds may be less liquid than taxable bonds. There is no guarantee that the Funds’ income will be exempt from federal or state income taxes, and changes in those tax rates or in alternative minimum tax rates or in the tax treatment of municipal bonds may make them less attractive as investments and cause them to lose value. Capital gains, if any, are subject to capital gains tax. Some portions of the distributions from HYD and XMPT may be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).
Fund shares are not individually redeemable and will be issued and redeemed at their NAV only through certain authorized broker-dealers in large, specified blocks of shares called “creation units” and otherwise can be bought and sold only through exchange trading. Creation units are issued and redeemed principally in kind. Shares may trade at a premium or discount to their NAV in the secondary market.
Investing involves substantial risk and high volatility, including possible loss of principal. Bonds and bond funds will decrease in value as interest rates rise. An investor should consider the investment objective, risks, charges and expenses of Funds carefully before investing. To obtain a prospectus and summary prospectus, which contains this and other information, call 888.MKT.VCTR or visit vaneck.com/etf. Please read the prospectus and summary prospectus carefully before investing.