The creation and redemption activity of fixed-income exchange-traded funds listed in the United States has shifted. Funds of established issuers have traditionally exchanged their shares for baskets of bonds. In contrast, young funds managed by new issuers tend to create and redeem their shares almost exclusively in cash. Cash transactions imply that new funds are taking on exposure to liquidity risk. This has implications for financial stability.
We introduce a new proxy for measuring corporate bond liquidity, using the price of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that hold corporate bonds. It measures the average liquidity across 900 corporate bonds every day, many more than other proxies used in previous Bank of Canada analysis. The new proxy nonetheless paints a very similar picture of liquidity conditions and confirms the previous findings: the liquidity of bonds has generally improved since 2010.
We create a hypothetical scenario to study the role bond funds play in intensifying shocks to the financial system. Using data from 2018 and 2007, we find that bond funds play a larger role now than they did in the past.
When redeeming shares for investors, bond fund managers must choose a mix of cash and bond sales to honour their commitments. This note uses machine learning algorithms to uncover new patterns in decisions fund managers make to meet redemptions.