TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Aug. 22, 2014) - (TSX:XEF) - iShares, the industry-leading exchange-traded fund (ETF) business at BlackRock Asset Management Canada Limited (BlackRock Canada), an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of BlackRock, Inc. (BlackRock), has determined to change the manner in which the investment strategy of the iShares Core MSCI EAFE IMI Index ETF ("XEF") is implemented.
XEF will commence implementing its investment strategy by investing primarily in equity securities of companies from Europe, Australia and the Far East that are included in the MSCI EAFE Investable Market Index (the "XEF Index"), such that the resulting portfolio will have characteristics that closely match the characteristics of the XEF Index. This direct investment strategy will be a change from how XEF currently implements its investment strategy by investing in shares of iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF, a U.S. iShares Fund that itself invests in a portfolio of international equity securities included in the XEF Index. This change is being implemented in accordance with XEF's current prospectus disclosure. The investment objective of XEF and the XEF Index will remain unchanged.
As a result of this change in investment strategy implementation, XEF will generally no longer be subject to U.S. withholding taxes. While foreign withholding taxes will continue to apply to dividends paid on certain international equity securities included in the XEF Index, it is expected that the change in investment strategy implementation will reduce the overall amount of withholding taxes borne directly or indirectly by XEF.
BlackRock Canada expects that the changes in XEF's portfolio that reflect this change in investment strategy implementation will take place during the three-week period ending on September 12, 2014. BlackRock Canada's current expectation is that XEF will realize capital gains as a result of the changes to XEF's portfolio. The amount of any capital gains from the changes in XEF's portfolio and other investment activities will be disclosed and distributed to unitholders of XEF during the fourth quarter of 2014 in accordance with BlackRock Canada's standard procedures for capital gains distributions by the iShares funds.
Further information on the iShares funds can be found at www.blackrock.com/ca.
BlackRock is a leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients worldwide. At June 30, 2014, BlackRock's AUM was $4.594 trillion. BlackRock helps clients meet their goals and overcome challenges with a range of products that include separate accounts, mutual funds, iShares® (exchange-traded funds), and other pooled investment vehicles. BlackRock also offers risk management, advisory and enterprise investment system services to a broad base of institutional investors through BlackRock Solutions®. Headquartered in New York City, as of June 30, 2014, the firm had approximately 11,600 employees in more than 30 countries and a major presence in key global markets, including North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East and Africa. For additional information, please visit the Company's website at www.blackrock.com.
About iShares ETFs
The iShares business is a global product leader in exchange traded funds with over 600 funds globally across equities, fixed income and commodities, which trade on 20 exchanges worldwide. The iShares funds are bought and sold like common stocks on securities exchanges. The iShares funds are attractive to many individual and institutional investors and financial intermediaries because of their relative low cost, tax efficiency and trading flexibility. Investors can purchase and sell securities through any brokerage firm, financial advisor, or online broker, and hold the funds in any type of brokerage account. The iShares customer base consists of the institutional segment of pension plans and fund managers, as well as the retail segment of financial advisors and individual investors.
iShares Funds are managed by BlackRock Asset Management Canada Limited. Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with investing in iShares Funds. Please read the relevant prospectus before investing. The funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional.
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