BlackRock Asset Management Canada Limited (iShares)

BlackRock Asset Management Canada Limited (iShares)

April 11, 2016 08:00 ET

BlackRock Canada Expands its iShares' Minimum Volatility ETF Suite with Launch of CAD-Hedged Offering

New funds offer investors flexibility to express their currency view while seeking to provide a cushion against potential market volatility

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 11, 2016) - (TSX:XML) (TSX:XMS) (TSX:XMY) - The industry-leading exchange traded fund (ETF) iShares business1 at BlackRock Asset Management Canada Limited (BlackRock Canada), an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of BlackRock, Inc. (BlackRock), has expanded its Minimum Volatility (Min Vol) product offering with the launch of three new CAD-Hedged ETFs in the suite. The new funds, iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol USA Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) (XMS), iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol EAFE Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) (XML) and iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol Global Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) (XMY), will be listed on the TSX when the market opens today. In addition, these new funds, combined with iShares' current set of factor investing products, have been launched under one unifying brand: "iShares Edge".

The addition of the three new funds expands BlackRock Canada's line-up of iShares Minimum Volatility ETFs to eight funds, and provides investors with the flexibility to help manage the impact of a strengthening Canadian dollar on investors' international investments. These three new CAD-Hedged ETFs, like their non-hedged counterparts, track indices, which measure the performance of equities based on market capitalization that have lower volatility relative to the equities included in their corresponding broad market benchmarks.

"While factor-based strategies are well-established investing concepts in portfolio management, advances in technology and data-analytics have democratized the delivery of these investment solutions and made them more accessible to all investors," said Andrew Ang, Head of Factor Investing Strategies at BlackRock.
"As we look to create more efficient and effective portfolios, it's important for investors to take a step back and understand what ultimately drives returns. Part of what makes factors so powerful is their ability to reach across all asset classes and investment strategies and focus on the outcomes they are looking to achieve."

On the heels of heightened volatility levels, investors have looked to soften their risk profile so far in 2016. The Canadian ETF industry attracted strong inflows of over C$500 million into minimum volatility funds in Q1, surpassing the previous year's record by close to 30 per cent. In addition, as the Canadian dollar strengthened during Q1, investors expressed a strong preference for CAD-Hedged ETFs, where possible, as a means to manage against currency fluctuations2.

"Today, we are seeing strong demand for solutions that allow investors to express a view on currency, to reduce volatility in their portfolios, or achieve outperformance," said Pat Chiefalo, Head of Canadian Product, iShares, BlackRock Canada. "For investors that are concerned about potential volatility in their portfolios, these new funds allow them to maintain exposures to equities for the long-term, while also providing additional flexibility to protect or benefit from fluctuations in the Canadian currency."

The new funds, launched today, are:

Ticker Fund Name Management Fee
XMS iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol USA Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) 0.30%
XML iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol EAFE Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) 0.35%
XMY iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol Global Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) 0.45%

iShares Edge ETFs capture the power of factors to help reduce risk or enhance returns. Factors are broad, persistent drivers of returns across equities and other asset classes. Today, new technologies and expanding data sources, combined with all the potential benefits you've come to expect from iShares ETFs, are allowing investors to access factors with ease.

In addition, BlackRock Canada is announcing name changes for a number of its factor-based iShares funds. The table below sets out the new names of these iShares funds which were made effective as of March 29, 2016.

Ticker Previous Name New Name
XFC iShares FactorSelect™ MSCI Canada Index ETF iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Canada Index ETF
XFI iShares FactorSelect™ MSCI EAFE Index ETF iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor EAFE Index ETF
XFF iShares FactorSelect™ MSCI EAFE Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor EAFE Index ETF (CAD-Hedged)
XFS iShares FactorSelect™ MSCI USA Index ETF iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor USA Index ETF
XFA iShares FactorSelect™ MSCI USA Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor USA Index ETF (CAD-Hedged)
XMW iShares MSCI All Country World Minimum Volatility Index ETF iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol Global Index ETF
XMV iShares MSCI Canada Minimum Volatility Index ETF iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol Canada Index ETF
XMI iShares MSCI EAFE Minimum Volatility Index ETF iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol EAFE Index ETF
XMM iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Minimum Volatility Index ETF iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol Emerging Markets Index ETF
XMU iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility Index ETF iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol USA Index ETF

Further information on the iShares Funds can be found at www.blackrock.com/ca.

About BlackRock

BlackRock is a global leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients. At December 31, 2015, BlackRock's AUM was US$4.645 trillion. BlackRock helps clients around the world 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®. As of December 31, 2015, the firm had approximately 13,000 employees in more than 30 countries and a major presence in 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/ca / Twitter: @BlackRockCA / Blog: www.blackrockblog.com/can

About iShares

iShares is a global leader in exchange-traded funds (ETFs), with more than a decade of expertise and commitment to individual and institutional investors of all sizes. With over 700 funds globally across multiple asset classes and strategies and more than US$1 trillion in assets under management as of December 31, 2015, iShares helps clients around the world build the core of their portfolios, meet specific investment goals and implement market views. iShares funds are powered by the expert portfolio and risk management of BlackRock, trusted to manage more money than any other investment firm3.

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.

Commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with investing in iShares Funds. Please read the relevant prospectus before investing. Fund securities are not covered by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation or by any other government deposit insurer. There can be no assurances that the fund will be able to maintain its net asset value per security at a constant amount or that the full amount of your investment in the fund will be returned to you. The fund is not guaranteed, its 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.

1 Based on assets under management (AUM) CAD $48.69 billion, as of 3/31/2016.

2 Based on data compiled by Bloomberg and BlackRock, as of 3/31/2016.

3 Based on US$4.645 trillion in AUM as of 12/31/15.

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