BlackRock® Canada Announces Unitholder Meetings of the iShares Gold Bullion ETF and iShares Silver Bullion ETF

BlackRock® Canada Announces Unitholder Meetings of the iShares Gold Bullion ETF and iShares Silver Bullion ETF




BlackRock® Canada Announces Unitholder Meetings of the iShares Gold Bullion ETF and iShares Silver Bullion ETF

TORONTO, Nov. 06, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — BlackRock Asset Management Canada Limited (“BlackRock Canada”), an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of BlackRock, Inc. (“BlackRock”) (NYSE:BLK) and manager of the iShares Gold Bullion ETF (“CGL”) and iShares Silver Bullion ETF (“SVR”, and together with CGL, the “iShares Funds”), announced today that it has called special meetings of the unitholders of CGL and SVR (the “Meetings”), to be held on or about December 18, 2020 to approve changes to certain investment restrictions of each iShares Fund and certain related matters (the “Proposals”). BlackRock Canada is holding each Meeting solely as a virtual (online) meeting which will be conducted by way of live audio webcast. Unitholders of record of the iShares Funds at the close of business on November 18, 2020 will be entitled to receive notice of, and vote at, the applicable Meeting.

The current custodian of CGL and SVR has provided notice of its intention to terminate the custody agreement with CGL and SVR during the first quarter of 2021. In order for CGL and SVR to continue to offer investors a convenient and secure manner of obtaining exposure to the performance of the price of gold and silver bullion, respectively, BlackRock Canada currently intends to appoint CIBC Mellon Trust Company (“CIBC Mellon”), which provides bullion custody services to other Canadian public investment funds, to act as bullion custodian to the iShares Funds. Following the appointment of CIBC Mellon, it is expected that the bullion owned by CGL and SVR will be stored in the vault facilities of the Royal Canadian Mint (“RCM”) as CIBC Mellon’s sub-custodian and/or one or more sub-custodians of the RCM.

In order to facilitate the appointment of CIBC Mellon, which is a qualified custodian under applicable Canadian securities laws, but not a Schedule I chartered bank, BlackRock Canada is proposing to change certain investment restrictions of each iShares Fund as follows:

Current Investment Restriction Proposed Investment Restriction
[Each iShares Fund] shall store all the Bullion owned by the iShares Fund in: (i) with respect to CGL, the vault facilities of a Schedule I Canadian chartered bank or an approved subcustodian or sub-subcustodian or an affiliate or a division thereof on a segregated basis; and (ii) with respect to SVR, the vault facilities of a Schedule I Canadian chartered bank, or an affiliate or a division thereof, or a sub-custodian on an allocated basis. [Each iShares Fund] shall store all of the Bullion owned by the iShares Fund in the vault facilities of one or more entities that meet the requirements to act as a custodian or sub-custodian for assets as described in NI 81-102 (or are permitted to act as a custodian or sub-custodian pursuant to exemptive relief from the applicable requirements granted by the Securities Authorities), on an allocated and segregated basis.
[Each iShares Fund] shall ensure that the Custodian has adequate insurance in place in respect of the Bullion held by the Custodian on behalf of the Fund. [Each iShares Fund] shall ensure that the Custodian itself has, or that the Custodian or sub-custodian(s) are required to ensure that their respective sub-custodian(s) have, adequate insurance arrangements in place in respect of the Bullion held on behalf of the Fund by such Custodian or sub-custodian(s), as applicable.

In connection with these proposed changes, each iShares Fund’s investment strategy would also be changed to permit: (a) each iShares Fund’s bullion to be held in the vault facilities of entities that comply with the iShares Funds’ proposed custody investment restriction as specified above, and (b) any bullion held outside of Canada to be held in the United States of America and/or the United Kingdom (instead of New York and/or London). The obligation to hold a majority of the Bullion owned by the iShares Funds in locations in Canada will remain unchanged. Certain other clarifying changes will also be made to the master declaration of trust governing the iShares Funds (the “Declaration of Trust”) in connection with implementing the Proposals.

Collectively, these changes will provide greater flexibility to BlackRock Canada to implement a new custody structure for the iShares Funds. The change to the insurance investment restriction is intended to better reflect the use of sub-custodians in the custody structure and the exemptive relief which will be relied upon to use the RCM and its sub-custodian(s).

Further details regarding the Proposals and related changes will be provided in a joint management information circular to be delivered to unitholders of record of the iShares Funds as of November 18, 2020, in connection with the Meetings and will be available on www.sedar.com. Implementation of the Proposals is also subject to applicable regulatory approvals, including the approval of the Toronto Stock Exchange. The appointment of CIBC Mellon as the new bullion custodian is subject to the negotiation and execution of a satisfactory custody agreement. If the changes to the investment restrictions are approved by unitholders of the iShares Funds, BlackRock Canada expects that the changes to the Declaration of Trust will be fully implemented no later than December 23, 2020; however, the formal appointment of CIBC Mellon as the new bullion custodian will likely not occur until the first quarter of 2021.

Capitalized terms used in this press release but not otherwise defined have the meaning ascribed to them in the Declaration of Trust.

About BlackRock

BlackRock’s purpose is to help more and more people experience financial well-being. As a fiduciary to investors and a leading provider of financial technology, our clients turn to us for the solutions they need when planning for their most important goals. As of September 30, 2020, the firm managed approximately US$7.81 trillion in assets on behalf of investors worldwide. For additional information on BlackRock, please visit www.blackrock.com/corporate | Twitter: @BlackRockCA.

About iShares

iShares unlocks opportunity across markets to meet the evolving needs of investors. With more than twenty years of experience, a global line-up of 900+ exchange traded funds (ETFs) and US$2.32 trillion in assets under management as of September 30, 2020, iShares continues to drive progress for the financial industry. iShares funds are powered by the expert portfolio and risk management of BlackRock, trusted to manage more money than any other investment firm1.

iShares ETFs are managed by BlackRock Asset Management Canada Limited.

Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with investing in iShares ETFs. Please read the relevant prospectus before investing. The funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional.

©2020 BlackRock Asset Management Canada Limited. All rights reserved. iSHARES and BLACKROCK are registered trademarks of BlackRock, Inc., or its subsidiaries in the United States and elsewhere. Used with permission.


1 Based on US$7.81 trillion in AUM as of 9/30/20


Contact for Media:
Maeve Hannigan
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Email: Maeve.Hannigan@blackrock.com