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Barclays Dominates List of Best-Rated ETFs

Barclays has more best-rated ETFs in the top 25 than any other company.

TSC Ratings provides exclusive stock, ETF and mutual fund ratings and commentary based on award-winning, proprietary tools. Its "safety first" approach to investing aims to reduce risk while seeking solid outperformance on a total return basis.


(BCS) - Get Barclays PLC Sponsored ADR Report

dominates the list of the 25 best-rated exchange-traded funds on the strength of its fixed-income funds during the longest recession in more than half a century.

Twenty-one of the 25 most highly rated ETFs are owned by Barclays or track a Barclays index.

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Barclays agreed to sell its iShares ETFs to CVC Capital Partners for $4.4 billion. The pending sale is bullish for Barclays in that the deal locks in a fair price while allowing the company to continue to shop iShares to other potential suitors until the acquisition closes. Also, if CVC successfully resells iShares, Barclays gets 20% of the increase in cash.

Barclays retains the revenue generated from the securities servicing for iShares, although

State Street

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Bank of New York Mellon

(BK) - Get Bank of New York Mellon Corporation Report

have been cited as potential bidders on this business.

The three best-rated exchange-traded funds based on March 31 data are

Market Vectors-Barclays AMT-Free Short Municipal ETF

(SMB) - Get VanEck Vectors AMT-Free Short Municipal Index ETF Report

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SPDR Barclays Capital Short Term Municipal Bond ETF

(SHM) - Get SPDR Nuveen Bloomberg Barclays Short Term Municipal Bond ETF Report

and the

iShares Barclays 10-20 Year Treasury Bond Fund

(TLH) - Get iShares 10-20 Year Treasury Bond ETF Report

. In this time of financial uncertainty, the "buy"-rated fixed income ETFs listed below can be used to balance the overall risk in an investor's portfolio.

The only two non-fixed-income ETFs with top grades on the list are bullish currency plays. The

PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish Fund

(UUP) - Get Invesco DB US Dollar Index Bullish Fund Report

is a bet on the U.S. dollar against the euro, Japanese yen, British pound, Canadian dollar, Swedish krona and Swiss franc. The

Market Vectors-Renminbi/USD ETN

(CNY) - Get Market Vectors Chinese Renminbi/USD ETN Report

uses short-term forward contracts to benefit from a rise in China's currency in relation to the U.S. dollar.

The grades can be interpreted as follows: A is "excellent" or "buy." B is "good" or "buy." C is "fair" or "hold." D is "weak" or "sell." And E is "very weak" or "sell." A plus or minus sign designates that a fund is in the top or bottom third of funds with the same letter grade. Ratings, recently cited for Best Stock Selection from October 2007 through February 2009 , is an independent research provider that combines fundamental and technical analysis to offer investors tremendous value in volatile times. To see how your portfolio can use this research,

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Kevin Baker became the senior financial analyst for TSC Ratings upon the August 2006 acquisition of Weiss Ratings by, covering mutual funds. He joined the Weiss Group in 1997 as a banking and brokerage analyst. In 1999, he created the Weiss Group's first ratings to gauge the level of risk in U.S. equities. Baker received a B.S. degree in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.B.A. with a finance specialization from Nova Southeastern University.