Banc of America Securities has announced the introduction of the High Grade Billion Dollar Index (BDI)’- the market’s first benchmark for billion dollar investment grade bonds. Unlike other indices which contain thousands of bonds, the Billion Dollar Index includes only the largest issues – $1 billion outstanding or greater and two or more years to maturity – currently totaling 341 issues. This constitutes a representative screen of the most frequently traded issues, with among the tightest bid-offer spreads, and these are generally the first to indicate valuation shifts in the bond market. The Billion Dollar Index has a significantly different profile from traditional broad- market indices. It is more global, with a 22% weighting in sovereign and quasi-sovereign issues. It also has a higher credit quality profile with an average rating of strong single A and with a 30% representation in triple A/double A credits.
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