(Bloomberg) -- BlackRock’s flagship exchange-traded credit fund in Europe is on track to record its biggest monthly inflow since early 2020 as bets that central banks are done boosting interest rates supercharge returns in corporate bonds.
The iShares euro corporate bond ETF — also known by its ticker, IEAC — has drawn almost €1.9 billion ($2.1 billion) so far in November, based on data compiled by Bloomberg. Barring significant outflows in the coming days, that would mark the biggest inflow to the fund since April 2020, when policymakers’ support for markets after the initial shock of the Covid pandemic persuaded investors to return.
The fund, which tracks high-grade bonds in euros, is Europe’s largest credit ETF by assets and acts as an indicator of investor sentiment toward the region’s company debt. The inflows reflect an improving outlook for corporate bond returns amid expectations major central banks won’t need to hike interest rates further to tame inflation.
“As we get more comfort in the peak rates narrative, clients are putting cash to work and looking for opportunities in spread assets,” Brett Pybus, global co-head of iShares fixed income, said in an interview. “Credit is one key area of growth.”
Total assets in the IEAC are now approaching the year’s high of €15.2 billion, recorded in September. The year-to-date total return on a Bloomberg index of euro investment-grade bonds has jumped this month and now stands near its 2023 peak at 4.4%.
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