BlackRock simplifies iShares for Aussie investors

BlackRock has announced that, subject to investor approval, 14 US-domiciled iShares exchange-traded funds (ETFs) would be converted to new Australian-domiciled iShares ETFs in order to improve ease of use for Australian investors and advisers.

The change was slated to begin in July, after the Australian financial year end.

The iShares ETFs to be converted would be:

  • IAA - iShares Asia 50 ETF
  • IEM - iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF
  • IEU - iShares Europe ETF
  • IJH - iShares S&P Mid-Cap ETF
  • IJP - iShares MSCI Japan ETF
  • IJR - iShares S&P Small-Cap ETF
  • IKO - iShares MSCI South Korea ETF
  • IOO - iShares Global 100 ETF
  • ITW - iShares MSCI Taiwan ETF
  • IVE - iShares MSCI EAFE ETF
  • IVV - iShares S&P 500 ETF
  • IXI - iShares Global Consumer Staples ETF
  • IXJ - iShares Global Healthcare ETF
  • IZZ - iShares China Large-Cap ETF
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According to BlackRock, the iShares ETFs to be converted had combined Australian assets under management (AUM) of over $7 billion, as of 31 March, 2018.

Head of BlackRock’s iShares business in Australia, Jon Howie, said the Australian ETF market had substantially grown, leading to improved ETF liquidity and trading infrastructure and allowing ETFs to attract assets and liquidity on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

“We are investing in our business to enhance our offering and provide more efficient portfolio construction tools for Australian investors and advisers,” he said.

“Today’s changes will make investing in iShares, and building globally diversified portfolios, easier for Australian investors and advisers by reducing administration – investors will no longer require filling W-8BEN forms when investing in iShares.”

At the same time, the firm announced that the five remaining US-domiciled iShares ETFs currently offered on ASX would be delisted. They would include the following:

  • IRU - iShares Russell 2000 ETF
  • ISG - iShares MSCI Singapore ETF
  • IXP - iShares Global Telecom ETF
  • IHK - iShares MSCI Hong Kong ETF
  • IBK - iShares MSCI BRIC ETF


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