Vanguard to Launch First New ETF in More Than 20 Months



(Bloomberg) — Asset-management giant Vanguard Group Inc. unveiled plans Thursday to launch a new exchange-traded fund in a rare move for one of the industry’s largest players.

The Vanguard Short-Term Tax-Exempt Bond ETF would track an index of municipal bonds with maturities between one month and seven years, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund would charge a fee of seven basis points.

While Vanguard is the second-largest issuer in the $6.7 trillion ETF market, the Malvern, Pennsylvania-based company rarely introduces new products to its relatively lean lineup. It controls about $1.9 trillion of assets across 81 ETFs, while industry leader BlackRock Inc.’s $2.2 trillion haul is spread out across 392 funds, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The planned muni-bond fund would be the first new Vanguard ETF to launch since the debut of the $3 billion Vanguard Ultra Short Bond ETF (ticker VUSB) in April 2021. Muni ETFs have had a banner year in 2022, with investors plowing a record $28.6 billion into the category, Bloomberg data show.

The potential new launch could come just months after Vanguard’s first-ever closure of a US fund. The Vanguard US Liquidity Factor ETF (VFLQ) was liquidated in late November after struggling to lure investors since debuting in 2018.


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