We're making important changes to our range of international ETFs to help you build better portfolios - subject to investor approval.

Beginning June 2018, we are changing the way fourteen (14) of our international index iShares ETFs are listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), as well as delisting five (5) funds from trading on the ASX.



 

What are the benefits to investors?

Simpler administration:

  • Less on-going administration by removing the need to complete U.S. tax forms (known as “W-8BEN” forms).
  • Distribution reinvestment plan will now be available for future distributions of these fourteen International iShares ETFs.

Access international markets with ease:

  • These changes will make building globally diversified portfolios using iShares ETFs easier for Australian investors and advisers.
  • Importantly, there will be no change to index exposures or fees.

Giving Australian investors access to relevant international exposures

 

Important Information

If you are a current holder of these ETFs, you will receive a shareholder letter notifying you of these changes and the actions you may need to take. To view a sample of this shareholder letter, please click here.
For more information, please see below.

 


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What investors and advisers need to know

May 1, 2018

Currently, iShares International ETFs are held as CHESS depositary interest (CDI) which gives investors an interest in the shares of a U.S. domiciled iShares ETF. The proposed changes will mean that an investor's current investment will be converted into units of a new Australian domiciled iShares ETF on a 1 for 1 basis (1 CDI for 1 unit). The new Australian domiciled iShares ETF will be issued by BlackRock Investment Management (Australia) Limited, as responsible entity, and will invest in shares of the corresponding U.S. domiciled iShares ETF.

The proposed changes relate to the following U.S. domiciled iShares ETFs:

ASX Code

Issuing Entity

ASX Name (CDI)

IAA iShares Trust iShares Asia 50 ETF
IZZ iShares Trust iShares China Large-Cap ETF
IEU iShares Trust iShares Europe ETF
IOO iShares Trust iShares Global 100 ETF
IXI iShares Trust iShares Global Consumer Staples ETF
IXJ iShares Trust iShares Global Healthcare ETF
IVE iShares Trust iShares MSCI EAFE ETF
IVV iShares Trust iShares S&P 500 ETF
IJH iShares Trust iShares S&P Mid-Cap ETF
IJR iShares Trust iShares S&P Small-Cap ETF
IEM iShares Inc iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF
IJP iShares Inc iShares MSCI Japan ETF
IKO iShares Inc iShares MSCI South Korea ETF
ITW iShares Inc iShares MSCI Taiwan ETF

 

Benefits to investors:

  • Less on-going administration with a simpler tax regime by removing the need for Australian investors and their advisors to complete U.S. tax forms (known as “W-8BEN” forms)
  • Dividend reinvestment plan available for future distributions
  • Overall client experience aligned with all products in the iShares Australian product suite, including distributions, tax statements, and communications

 

There are two important steps that investors need to do:

  • Vote

    If you are an investor as at 26 April, your vote is important to help make these changes possible.

    A meeting of eligible investors for each of the above listed iShares ETFs will be held concurrently at the offices of Computershare Investor Services Pty Limited (Computershare), Level 4, 60 Carrington St, Sydney NSW 2000, on Friday 22 June 2018 at 10:00 am, to consider and vote on the proposed changes.

    No matter how large or small a holding may be, we urge investors and advisers to record their voting instructions via proxy or in person. For further information, please download the sample shareholder letter.

  • Submit tax information

    To find out more about what tax information investors and advisers need to submit please download the sample shareholder letter.

If you require further information please contact the Computershare Investor Centre on 1300 474 273 between 8:30 am and 5:00pm (AEST), Monday to Friday. 

iShares, Inc. and iShares Trust have applied to delist the following iShares exchange traded funds (iShares ETFs) from trading on the ASX:

ASX Code

Issuing Entity

ASX Name

IRU iShares Trust iShares Russell 2000 ETF
IXP iShares Trust iShares Global Telecom ETF
ISG iShares, Inc. iShares MSCI Singapore ETF
IHK iShares, Inc. iShares MSCI Hong Kong ETF
IBK iShares, Inc. iShares MSCI BRIC ETF

Why are the ETFs being delisted?

We believe some exposures are better served with our remaining range, and this change will allow BlackRock to focus on exposures which are relevant to Australian investors today.

Shares in the U.S. domiciled iShares ETFs will continue to be listed on the relevant U.S. exchange, and trading on exchange in the U.S. will continue uninterrupted during and after the ASX delisting process.

What investors and advisers need to know

The following table sets out the timetable for the delisting. BlackRock will update these dates if any changes occur:

15 June 2018 (close of trading)

Suspension Date – effective date of suspension in trading of iShares ETFs on ASX.

22 June 2018

Delisting Date – effective date of removal of the iShares ETFs from trading on ASX.

28 August 2018

Last date to convert CDIs into U.S. shares.

29 August 2018

Any remaining investors will have their iShares ETFs sold on their behalf.

By 10 September 2018

Sale proceeds payment despatched.

Investors and advisers have the following options in relation to dealing with their iShares ETFs during the delisting process:

Option 1

Sell your iShares ETFs on ASX prior to the Suspension Date

Post announcement, each iShares ETF will continue to trade on ASX until the Suspension Date. During this time, you will be able to sell your iShares ETFs in the usual manner.
After the Suspension Date, you will not be able to trade your iShares ETFs on ASX.
If you choose to sell prior to the Suspension Date, you will be responsible for any associated costs, including any broker commission.

Option 2

Convert your ASX listed ETF into U.S. shares

You have an existing right to convert your ASX listed ETF into shares in the corresponding U.S. iShares ETF. You may exercise this right by contacting BlackRock’s Australian share registry (Computershare). Contact details are shown at the end of this letter.
This conversion will be free of charge (costs paid by BlackRock). You will require a brokerage account that can trade U.S. listed shares. You have until 28 August 2018 to request us to convert your ASX listed ETF into U.S. shares.
If you choose to convert your ASX listed ETF into U.S. shares, you will become holder of the U.S. iShares ETF and you will only be able to trade your shares via a U.S. exchange.

Option 3

Do nothing, and your iShares ETFs will be sold and you will receive the sale proceeds

Do nothing. If you do not sell your iShares ETFs before the Suspension Date, or convert your iShares ETFs into U.S. shares before the Delisting Date, then a broker appointed by BlackRock will sell your iShares ETFs on or around 29 August 2018 on the relevant U.S. Exchange.
For this option, you will not be charged trading commission. If you choose this option, you will not be able to trade your iShares ETFs from the Suspension Date and must hold them until they are sold.  Your sale proceeds will be despatched to you in Australian dollars within 10 business days after the iShares ETFs are sold.
The period between the Delisting Date until the date your iShares ETFs are sold will be at least 60 days in accordance with ASX requirements. During the delisting period, any interim distributions will be paid to you in the usual manner.

 

Tax and financial implications

For investors who choose to take direct ownership of the shares of the U.S. domiciled iShares ETF, this should not be regarded as an Australian capital gains tax event. However, if your holding is sold either by yourself on the ASX, or by BlackRock, this should be regarded as a disposal of the asset, and will have associated Australian tax implications.
Australian and U.S. tax implications of each option described above will depend on your individual circumstances, including whether you are a resident of the United States.
The information in this letter does not take into account your individual investment objectives, financial situation and needs. The information in this letter is of a general nature and is not financial product advice and should not be relied upon as the sole basis for any investment decision. You should consult your financial, legal, tax or other professional adviser if you have any queries in relation to the information contained in this letter or how you should act with respect to your investment.

 

Further information

If investors and or advisers have questions or require further information please call the iShares Information Line on 1300 474 273 between 8:30am and 5:00pm (EST), Monday to Friday or email us at clientservices.aus@blackrock.com.

 

We thank you for your continued support of BlackRock and iShares.