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Barclays Announces Plan to List Three New Currency ETNs

Barclays announced today that it will introduce three new currency exchange traded notes that will track baskets of currencies in the Middle East, Asia, emerging markets, and currencies that benefit from the carry trade.

The new ETNs are named Asian and Gulf Revaluation ETN, Global Emerging Markets Strategy ETN, and Intelligent Carry Index ETN.

The Asian and Gulf Revaluation ETN is designed to track the yuan, Hong Kong dollar, Saudi Arabian riyal, Singapore dollar and United Arab Emirates dirham, and was named because these countries are likely to revalue their currencies due to the weakness in the dollar and higher oil prices.

The Global Emerging Markets Strategy ETN is designed to track 15 emerging market currencies in Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe using money market funds.

The Intelligent Carry Trade ETN follows the world's 10 most liquid currencies, going long in currencies that pay higher interest rates, and short in ones with lower rates, simulating the returns from the carry trade.

Each of these ETNs will be indexed to a basket of currencies, instead of a single currency like Barclay's other iPath ETN offerings. The structure of these notes may have been influenced by an Internal Revenue Service ruling that decided to tax single currency ETNs as debt instruments. Because of this, investors who hold the note may have to pay taxes on gains in the value of the ETN at ordinary income rates (which can be as high as 35%), instead of the 15% capital gains rate, despite the fact that the investor does not actually receive any income until the note is sold or matures.

The Asian and Gulf Revaluation ETN and Global Emerging Markets Strategy ETN pay interest each quarter.

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