High-yield still worth owning: BlackRock pro

Despite the increasing flight of money from U.S.-based junk bonds, the asset class remains a solid investment for the time being, BlackRock's Jim Keenan said Monday.

Keenan, who oversees more than $50 billion in assets as managing director and head of Americas Credit, said that he has been positive on the space over the past several years.

"And this year we still think it's attractive," he added on CNBC's "Halftime Report."

"Getting 5 to 6 percent in high-yield bonds or bank loans is still a good place to be, certainly not going to be the returns where it's been in the past," he said.

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Reuters reported that investors had withdrawn a record $7.1 billion from the space and fled exchange-traded funds "at the most frantic pace in six months," according to data released Thursday.

Keenan noted that equity markets have seen selloffs in recent months amid an escalation of geopolitical risk in Gaza and between Russia and Ukraine.

"It wasn't specific to a credit story," he said.

Keenan said that a slowdown in Europe, as well as "slow and stable growth" in the United States, will keep downward pressure on yields.

"We haven't seen that acceleration, but that's hard to get to because the world still has too much leverage in it," he said. "That is a headwind. The demographics, the leverage, these are what's slowing down the overall economy. Rates can go up, but the level of rates is still going to remain low because of these reasons."

By CNBC's Bruno J. Navarro