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BlackRock to restructure cross-listed ETFs

BlackRock is proposing to restructure its cross-listed iShares exchange-traded funds (ETF) as Australian funds to reduce administration for SMSF trustees and advisers.

The investment manager is proposing to convert 14 United States-domiciled iShares ETFs into new Australian-domiciled ETFs on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

iShares Australia head Jon Howie said the Australian ETF market had developed significantly over the past few years, leading to improved ETF liquidity and trading infrastructure from market participants, which has allowed ETFs on a range of international exposures to attract assets and liquidity on the ASX.

“This provides the right environment for a broader locally domiciled range that is more efficient for advisers and investors.”

Previously, SMSF and other investors had to fill out a US tax form, known as the W-8BEN form, every three years for US-domiciled funds.

This will be eliminated under the move, with BlackRock set to handle the administration at the fund level.

“It will also mean that for investors who are looking to save for the long term and to grow assets and wealth over the long term, they no longer have to necessarily handle reinvesting distributions they receive manually,” Howie told selfmanagedsuper.

The 14 iShares ETFs to be converted include the iShares Asia 50 ETF, iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF, iShares Europe ETF and iShares S&P Mid-Cap ETF.

BlackRock also announced its five remaining US-domiciled iShares ETFs currently offered on the ASX will be 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,” it said.

BlackRock is planning to start the restructure in July after the end of the financial year.

The proposed changes will have no impact on investment exposure and management fees.

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