Markit has introduced a new loan index to be used as a benchmark for investors with cash loan portfolios.

The new Markit iBoxx U.S. Leveraged Loan Index is the first loan index to use up-to-date data in its calculation, according to Markit.

The index, “provides asset managers with a benchmarking tool that will enhance their performance management capabilities,” said Armins Rusis, the global co-head of fixed income at Markit. “We also expect the index will encourage new investors to enter the loan asset class by offering them a more accurate, transparent representation of the loan market.”

The index consists of approximately 800 loans for over 700 issuers. Markit has various requirements for loans on the index, including minimum size requirements, liquidity measures and weighting caps at the issuer, facility and sector level.

This index, Markit said, will serve as the basis for other products during 2010, including European leveraged loan indices, customized leveraged loan indices and performance attribution and analytics products.

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