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BlackRock shutters Russia ETF

BlackRock has started the process of liquidating its iShares MSCI Russia ETF.

The asset manager intends to commence liquidation of the ETF on August 17 by distributing its current liquid assets to shareholders while retaining a reserve to meet costs.

BlackRock said it expects the liquidation process to take some time, given the ongoing sanctions and capital controls in place following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The ETF is expected to remain in existence until the end of the year to allow the fund to sell securities and depositary receipts, if conditions permit. If possible, it may be terminated sooner, BlackRock said.

After December 31, the fund may be terminated at any time even if assets remain unsold.

"Due to the uncertainty involved, there can be no assurance that shareholders would receive any liquidating distribution relating to the Russian securities and depositary receipts after the initial distribution described above," BlackRock said.

On March 1, BlackRock suspended the creation of new shares in the fund. It went into a trading halt on March 4 and, on June 1, its underlying index was terminated.

The fund was established in November 2010. It's reported that at its peak in 2018, it held about US$800 million.

On its last day of trade, the closing price was US$8.06. Today it has about US$1 million in assets and is priced at US$0.07. It's one-year return at as June 30 is -99.81%.

Read more: BlackRockRussiaiShares MSCI Russia ETFUkraine