NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--iShares, the exchange-traded fund (ETF) business of BlackRock, (NYSE: BLK), launched the iShares MSCI Qatar Capped ETF (QAT) and iShares MSCI UAE Capped ETF (UAE) on the NASDAQ. They are the first ETFs to provide single country exposure to two countries that MSCI will graduate from Frontier Markets to Emerging Markets status at the end of May. The new funds expand an already robust iShares emerging markets offering more than 20 single country and regional ETFs, plus the iShares Frontier Markets ETF (NYSE: FM) that offers 100% pure exposure to Frontier Markets countries.
Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are the first Middle East countries to be promoted to Emerging Markets status due to the development of their securities markets and past and future expected steady growth. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecasted higher GDP growth for both countries than the broader developed markets. While currently both markets lean heavily toward financials, industrials and energy, further expansion is expected to help them diversify into other sectors such as transportation, real estate and construction, and hospitality.
Patrick Dunne, Head of iShares Global Markets and Investments at BlackRock said:
“The launches of the iShares MSCI Qatar Capped ETF and iShares MSCI UAE Capped ETF meet an immediate need of investors awaiting the countries’ upgrade to emerging markets. Pensions, foundations and endowments, who in particular have the most global-oriented portfolios, have reasonably sized allocation levels in broad emerging markets with over- and under-weights in single country emerging markets. By iShares launching the new funds now, investors are equipped to make adjustments to their emerging markets portfolios to strategically or tactically diversify their portfolios.”
Baer Pettit, Managing Director and Global Head of the MSCI Index Business, said:
“MSCI’s reclassification of these countries and inclusion into our flagship Emerging Market Index reflects the broader global opportunity set available to international institutional investors today.”
The iShares MSCI Qatar Capped ETF tracks the MSCI All Qatar Capped Index, which provides broad-based exposure to equity securities that are classified in Qatar according to the MSCI Global Investable Market Indices methodology, as well as securities of companies that are headquartered or listed in Qatar and have the majority of their operations based there. The underlying index may include large-, mid- or small capitalization companies and components primarily include financials, telecommunication services and industrials companies.
The iShares MSCI UAE Capped ETF tracks the MSCI All UAE Capped Index, which provides broad-based exposure to equity securities that are classified in the UAE according to the MSCI Global Investable Market Indices methodology, as well as securities of companies that are headquartered or listed in the UAE and have the majority of their operations based there. The underlying index may include large-, mid- or small capitalization companies and components primarily include financials, industrials and healthcare companies.
Both MSCI Indexes are free float-adjusted market capitalization-weighted indexes with a capping methodology applied to issuer weights so that no single issuer of a component exceeds 25% of the Underlying Index weight and all issuers with a weight above 5% do not, in the aggregate, exceed 50% of the Underlying Index weight.
BlackRock is a leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients worldwide. At March 31, 2014, BlackRock’s AUM was $4.401 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 March 31, 2014, the firm had approximately 11,500 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.
iShares 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 and trading flexibility. Investors can purchase and sell shares 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 high net worth individuals.
Carefully consider the iShares Funds’ investment objectives, risk factors, and charges and expenses before investing. This and other information can be found in the Funds’ prospectuses, which may be obtained by calling 1-800-iShares (1-800-474-2737) or by visiting www.iShares.com. Read the prospectus carefully before investing.
Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. International investments may involve risk of capital loss from unfavorable fluctuation in currency values, from differences in generally accepted accounting principles or from economic or political instability in other nations. Securities focusing on a single country may be subject to higher volatility.
Transactions in shares of the iShares Funds will result in brokerage commissions and will generate tax consequences. iShares Funds are obliged to distribute portfolio gains to shareholders. Shares of the iShares Funds may be sold throughout the day on the exchange through any brokerage account. However, shares may only be redeemed directly from a Fund by Authorized Participants, in very large creation/redemption units. Diversification may not protect against market risk or loss of principal.
The iShares Funds are not sponsored, endorsed, issued, sold or promoted by MSCI Inc., nor does this company make any representation regarding the advisability of investing in the Funds. BlackRock is not affiliated with MSCI Inc.
The iShares Funds are distributed by BlackRock Investments, LLC (together with its affiliates, “BlackRock”).
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