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Talking Points: Introducing the S&P 500® Dividend Aristocrats® Bond Select 30 Index

Talking Points: The S&P 500® Bond Mega 30 Index Series

Biotech Brings Life Into Equities: The S&P Biotechnology Select Industry Index

Talking Points: What's Beyond the S&P/CLX IPSA? Getting to Know the S&P/CLX Indices

Talking Points: The S&P Access China Enterprises Enhanced Value Index

Talking Points: Introducing the S&P 500® Dividend Aristocrats® Bond Select 30 Index

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Kevin Horan

Director, Fixed Income Indices

1. Why is this index being introduced now?

REITs are a popular and efficient way for market participants to access the real estate asset class. The potential for strong long-term total returns combined with other key investment characteristics, such as a tendency for high dividend yields, inflationhedging properties, and a relatively low correlation with other asset classes, have contributed to the appeal of REITs. However, because they are widely considered to be rate-sensitive assets, there is substantial concern among market participants that REITs will underperform when interest rates increase from their historically low levels. Although there is evidence that REITs have typically fared well over full cycles of rising rates, U.S. REITs have often experienced sharp sell-offs in short-term periods in which interest rates have increased significantly. Given this context, there is considerable interest in a U.S. REIT index that may be less sensitive to interest rate movements.

2. How does the index work?

The index is a subset of the Dow Jones U.S. Select REIT Index that only includes REITs in property sectors that typically have relatively short-term lease durations. These sectors are apartments, hotels/resorts, manufactured homes, and self-storage. Theoretically, REITs with shorter lease durations should be less sensitive to interest rates, given that they can more quickly reprice their rental agreements. For example, a hotel effectively has overnight leases and can rapidly respond to market changes. Similarly, apartment owners typically engage in one-year leases with tenants, making the average lease duration of apartment REITs under one year. On the other hand, office, health care, and other major REIT sectors generally have much longer-term lease durations—giving them more bond-like cash flow characteristics. The index also employs a 5% cap on stock weights to reduce single-stock concentration.

3. What are the characteristics and historical performance attributes of the index?

Over the full length of the back-test from September 2000 to November 2016, the Dow Jones U.S. Select Short-Term REIT Index outperformed the Dow Jones U.S. Select REIT Index 90% of the time during periods in which the 10-year U.S. Treasury Bond yield increased by more than 50 bps within a period of four months or less. For periods in which the 10-year U.S. Treasury Bond yield increased by more than 100 bps in a period of four months or less, the index outperformed nearly 99% of the time. Interestingly, the index did not consistently outperform or underperform the broader REIT market in periods of falling rates.

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Talking Points: The S&P 500® Bond Mega 30 Index Series

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Kevin Horan

Director, Fixed Income Indices

The indices in the S&P 500 Bond Mega 30 Index Series are designed to measure 30 of the largest bonds from the S&P 500 Investment Grade Corporate Bond Index and the S&P 500 High Yield Corporate Bond Index. The index series is designed to be a more liquid and investable subset of the S&P 500 Bond Index.

  1. What is the S&P 500 Bond Mega 30 Index Series?

The S&P 500 has been the flagship index tracking the U.S. equity market for over 50 years. Over the past few years, corporations have issued large amounts of debt, likely taking advantage of the lower interest rate environment. The S&P 500 Bond Index Series seeks to track debt issued by companies in the S&P 500.

The S&P 500 Bond Mega 30 Investment Grade Index is composed of 30 bonds,representing the largest investment-grade bond issues of the S&P 500. The bonds are selected from the S&P 500 Investment Grade Corporate Bond Index. 

The S&P 500 Bond Mega 30 High Yield Index is composed of 30 bonds, representing the largest high-yield bond issues from the S&P 500. The bonds are selected from the S&P 500 High Yield Corporate Bond Index.

In addition, there are two maturity-based indices that track the 30 largest bond issues in the three- to five-year and five- to seven-year maturity ranges for both investmentgrade and high-yield issuers, as well as a one- to three-year maturity-based index for the investment-grade series.

  1. What are some of the key benefits of the S&P 500 Bond Mega 30 Index Series?

Over the past few years, the growing debt pool issued by corporations has driven the need for independent indices to track different aspects of that market. The new S&P 500 Mega Bond Indices track bonds with larger issue sizes that typically trade with greater frequency and enhanced transparency, and therefore tend to have higher liquidity.

  • Liquidity: To help ensure liquidity, the largest bond by par amount outstanding is used for each issuer.
  • Composition: Comprises bonds from the widely followed, large-cap companies tracked in the S&P 500 with one bond per issuer represented.
  • High Quality: As of July 31, 2018, the weighted average rating for the S&P 500 Bond Mega 30 Investment Grade Index was A-/A3/A, and for the S&P 500 Bond Mega 30 High Yield Index the weighted average rating is BB/Ba2/BB+ by S&P Global Ratings/Moody’s/Fitch, respectively.
  • Small Constituent Number: Each index comprises 30 bonds for manageability.
  • Weighting: Each index is equal weighted to avoid overexposure to any one issuer.
  • Performance: The indices closely replicate performance of their significantly broader parents S&P 500 Investment Grade Corporate Bond Index and the S&P 500 High Yield Corporate Bond Index.
  • Transparency: The index aims to make opaque bond markets more transparent by focusing on issuers that are already familiar to market participants. Results are published on spdji.com.

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Biotech Brings Life Into Equities: The S&P Biotechnology Select Industry Index

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Louis Bellucci

Senior Director, Index Governance

INTRODUCTION

Developed in 1999 and jointly managed by S&P Dow Jones Indices and MSCI, the Global Industry Classification Standard® (GICS® ) assigns companies to a single classification at the sub-industry level according to its principal business activity using quantitative and qualitative factors, including revenues, earnings, and market perception. The sub-industry is the most specific level of the four-tiered, hierarchical industry classification system that includes 11 sectors, 24 industry groups, 69 industries, and 158 sub-industries.

The companies primarily engaged in the research, development, manufacturing, or marketing of products based on genetic analysis and genetic engineering are classified in the Biotechnology sub-industry, the only sub-industry in the Biotechnology industry. It includes companies primarily engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and/or marketing of products based on genetic analysis and genetic engineering. Included are those specializing in protein-based therapeutics to treat human diseases and excluded are companies manufacturing products using biotechnology without a health care application.

COMPOSITION

As of Sept. 28, 2018, there are 124 companies with a total float-adjusted market capitalization of USD 879,614.95 million in the S&P Biotechnology Select Industry Index.  The largest company in the index is AbbVie Inc (ABBV), with a float-adjusted market cap of USD 143,219.94 million.  The index is modified equal-weighted, and the largest company weight in the index is ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc (ACAD), at 1.9%.  Approximately 11.8% of the index weight is from large-cap stocks in the S&P 500®, with 2.6% from the S&P MidCap 400® and 11.0% from the S&P SmallCap 600®.  The mean market cap is USD 7,092.90 million, the median market cap is USD 1.299.83 million, and the minimum market cap is USD 323.17 million. Nearly 75% of the index weight is considered micro cap and therefore is not in the S&P Composite 1500®, but is in the S&P Total Market Index (TMI).  The top 10 holdings sum to 14.8% of the S&P Biotechnology Select Industry Index (see Exhibit 1). 

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Talking Points: What's Beyond the S&P/CLX IPSA? Getting to Know the S&P/CLX Indices

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Jaime Merino

Director, Asset Owners Channel

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Silvia Kitchener

Director, Global Equity Indices, Latin America

The S&P/CLX IPSA is a renowned benchmark for Chilean equities, including nearly 90% of Chile’s equity market, and serves as the parent index for a wide-range of S&P/ CLX Indices. Explore how S&P Dow Jones Indices and Bolsa de Santiago’s partnership is providing a diverse set of tools for investors looking to access Chile’s evolving markets.

1. What’s included in the S&P/CLX Fixed Income Indices that seek to track bonds in the Chilean market?

Jaime: The S&P/CLX Fixed Income Indices have two large series of sovereign indices, nominal rate, and real rate indices, known as the S&P Inflation-Linked Indices. As you can see in Exhibit 1, these indices are divided into long maturities and short maturities. The detailed maturity "buckets" or partitions, are 0-1, 1-3, 3-5, 5-7, 7-10, and 10+ years, while the grouped maturity “buckets” are 0-1, 1-5, 5-10, and 10+ years. Both sets of indices and the benchmark indices, which cover the entire nominal and real curve, are calculated in U.S. dollars.

2. Why were the indices split in this fashion, and why are they issued in a non-local currency?

Jaime: First, it is important to have indices in different currencies (in this case U.S. dollars), so that they can be used locally and by international investors. The indices are split by maturities because the curve does not move the same way in the short term as it does in the long term, so there are detailed references that can be used as benchmarks for those asset managers who have short-, medium-, or long-term bond strategies.

We wanted to develop a set of tools that could provide data to inform investors across geographies and that could be applied across a range of strategies. The indices can also serve as the basis for investment products, such as ETFs or index funds, because they are easy to replicate. This would lead to a more transparent and liquid way to tailor allocations to meet investment goals.

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Talking Points: The S&P Access China Enterprises Enhanced Value Index

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Tianyin Cheng

Senior Director, Strategy Indices

The S&P Access China Enterprises Enhanced Value Index seeks to measure the performance of 100 Chinese companies with securities with attractive valuations that are eligible for the Stock Connect programs. Only one share class is selected to represent each company.

  1. What is the rationale behind the construction of the index?

The value factor is one of the oldest and most-established risk premiums in financial markets. Historically, stocks with attractive valuations have tended to outperform the broader market over medium- to long-term periods. The value premium exists in China’s A-share market1 and the Hong Kong market.2 With the introduction of the Stock Connect programs, new opportunities are emerging for value investors focusing on China.

The China A-share market looks expensive. As of Aug. 31, 2018, the S&P China A BMI Domestic traded at 15.7x trailing 12-month earnings versus the S&P Emerging BMI at 13.7x. More surprising, dual-listed stocks (those that trade as A-shares and H-shares) were trading at a large premium on the mainland. The premium or discount of A-shares relative to H-shares has been caused by market liquidity conditions and market participant structures and preferences, among other aspects. The prevalence of stock price differences may exist for quite some time and then tend to move toward long-term convergence.

The S&P Access China Enterprises Enhanced Value Index aims to benefit from a larger opportunity set, including onshore and offshore markets and relative premium or discount.

  1. How does the index work?

The index is constructed from the universe of southbound and northbound trading of the Shanghai-Hong Kong and the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect programs. This includes ChiNext stocks.

It selects the 100 Chinese companies with attractive valuations based on three fundamental measures: book value-to-price, earnings-to-price, and sales-to-price ratios. The index is weighted by the product of market cap and value score.

For dual-listed companies, only the cheaper share classes would be considered. A buffer rule is in place to reduce turnover of existing constituents—the index does not switch share classes unless the premium is more than 5% at the rebalancing every six months.

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