BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE: BLK) today announced two new initiatives to meet the growing demand for gold investing and make the gold market accessible to the broadest group of financial advisors, institutional and individual investors. These initiatives, which leverage the Firm’s capabilities across the globe and build on BlackRock’s leadership in gold products outside of the U.S. market, involve two distinct investment offerings for clients looking to invest in gold: • A New U.S. Mutual Fund Focused on Gold-Related Equities: The new BlackRock World Gold Fund in the U.S. invests in equity securities of gold-related companies from around the world and seeks to maximize total return. The recently-launched Fund is managed by an experienced team of industry specialists — led by Evy Hambro and Catherine Raw — who are part of BlackRock’s London based Natural Resources Team which manages more than $35 billion in assets, as of March 31, 2010. Mr. Hambro and Mrs. Raw have extensive experience managing gold-related products which have historically been marketed and sold outside the U.S., including one of the most successful gold funds in the world, and U.S.-based investors can now access their expertise and insights through the World Gold Fund. • An Enhanced Physical Gold Exchange Traded Offering: The Firm is refining the iShares COMEX Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU), which holds physical gold. The enhancements to this product will provide investors with broader access to the gold market and more flexibility in adjusting the gold allocation of their portfolio through the potential for increased liquidity and lower total costs. “Given the increasing interest for gold among all investor types, our strong leadership in the sector, and the significant opportunities for growth we see in the U.S., we are taking steps to continue building out the investment opportunities available to our clients,” said Robert Fairbairn, Vice Chairman of BlackRock and Head of the Global Client Group. “BlackRock has long been a leader in gold investing — with a wide range of investment solutions around the globe and a leadership position outside the U.S. And, these two product offerings are an ideal example of how we can leverage the breadth and depth of BlackRock around the world to deliver the best possible solutions for our clients.”
“Exchange traded products have revolutionized investor access to the gold markets and reignited interest in the sector in recent years,” said Mr. Hambro, Managing Director and Portfolio Manager for the BlackRock World Gold Fund. “This increased accessibility to the gold market, the decline in gold production since its peak in 2001, and a shift in Central Bank strategy towards accumulating rather than selling gold reserves have all been instrumental in supporting the upward trend in the price of gold over the past nine years. The new initiatives we’re announcing today will complement — and build on — BlackRock’s other gold offerings, and make the gold market even more accessible to both individual and institutional investors.”The Board of Directors of BlackRock Asset Management International Inc., the sponsor of the iShares COMEX Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU), has approved several changes to the Gold Trust which include: reducing the share price – and increasing the Trusts’s shares outstanding - through a previously announced 10-for-1 share split, effective June 24, 2010; and leveraging BlackRock’s broader platform to drive greater operating efficiencies for the Trust. BlackRock is passing those cost savings along to investors by reducing the Trust’s sponsor fee from 0.40% to 0.25%, effective July 1, 2010. About BlackRock BlackRock is a leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients worldwide. At March 31, 2010, BlackRock’s AUM was $3.364 trillion. BlackRock offers products that span the risk spectrum to meet clients’ needs, including active, enhanced and index strategies across markets and asset classes. Products are offered in a variety of structures including 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, 2010, the firm has approximately 8,500 employees in 24 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. For an iShares prospectus, visit iShares.com or call 1-800-iShares. The Trust is not an investment company registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940 or a commodity pool for purposes of the Commodity Exchange Act. Shares of the Trust are not subject to the same regulatory requirements as mutual funds. Because shares of the trust are created to reflect the price of gold held by the Trust, the market price of the shares will be as unpredictable as the price of gold has historically been. Additionally, shares of the Trust are bought and sold at market price (not NAV). Brokerage commissions will reduce return. The price received upon the sale of the shares may be more or less than the value of the gold represented by them. There is no guarantee an active trading market will develop for the shares, which may result in losses on your investment at the time of disposition of your shares.
For a prospectus on the new World Gold Fund visit our website at www.blackrock.com or call 1-800-882-0052. Consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. The prospectus contains this and other information about the fund. Read the prospectus carefully before investing.Risk is inherent in all investing. The value of your investment in the Fund, as well as the amount of return you receive on your investment, may fluctuate significantly from day to day and over time. You may lose part or all of your investment in the Fund or your investment may not perform as well as other similar investments. The Fund’s strategy of concentrating in gold-related companies means that its performance will be closely tied to the performance of a particular market segment and will be more exposed to the price movements of companies in, and developments affecting, that market segment. The Fund’s concentration in these companies may present more risks than if it were broadly diversified over numerous industries and sectors of the economy. A downturn in these companies would have a greater impact on the Fund than on a mutual fund that does not concentrate in such companies. At times, the performance of these companies will lag the performance of other industries or the broader market as a whole. Emerging markets are riskier than more developed markets because they tend to develop unevenly and may never fully develop. Investments in emerging markets may be considered speculative. Emerging markets are more likely to experience hyperinflation and currency devaluations, which adversely affect returns to U.S. investors. In addition, many emerging securities markets have far lower trading volumes and less liquidity than developed markets. Foreign investments often involve special risks not present in U.S. investments that can increase the chances that the Fund will lose money.
“Commodity Exchange, Inc.” and “COMEX” are trademarks of Commodity Exchange, Inc. and have been licensed for use for certain purposes to BlackRock and the Trust. The Trust is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by Commodity Exchange, Inc., nor does Commodity Exchange, Inc. make any representation regarding the advisability of investing in the Trust.Prepared by BlackRock Investments, LLC, member FINRA. BlackRock is a registered trademark of BlackRock, Inc. iShares ® is a registered trademark of BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A. ©2010 BlackRock, Inc. All rights reserved.