iShares Drafts Non-US Global TIPs ETF

September 02, 2010

iShares, the BlackRock unit and the world’s largest ETF provider, filed to launch an international exchange-traded fund that would tap into sovereign inflation-linked bonds denominated in local currencies across the developed and emerging world that would exclude the
U.S.

With interest rates at historically low levels, investors have been increasingly shunning
U.S.
debt in lieu of higher-yield-generating foreign-denominated bonds, particularly those from emerging markets.

The iShares International Inflation-Linked Bond Fund, by tracking the BofA Merrill Lynch International Diversified Inflation-Linked Index, would give investors access to a pool of 135 issues from a 16-country span that excludes the
U.S., according to the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

While the filing didn’t disclose the proposed ETF’s price, the iShares fund would go head-to-head with the SPDR DB International Government Inflation-Protected Bond ETF (NYSEArca: WIP), which has gathered some $832.5 million in assets since its March 2008 inception.

WIP invests in a smaller pool of bonds—75 in total—but it taps into a similar mix of countries that include Brazil, Japan,
Canada and many European nations, though smaller as well. WIP carries a 0.50 percent expense ratio.

About The Index

The BofA Merrill Lynch International Diversified Inflation-Linked Index is a “broad, market value weighted, capped total return index designed to measure the performance of inflation-linked sovereign debt that is publicly issued and denominated in the issuer’s domestic market and currency,” the filing said.

It comprises debt issued by countries that have at least $2 billion outstanding face value at inclusion and maintain at least $1 billion outstanding face value in index-qualifying debt.

The index is rebalanced monthly, and the fund will track its performance through a representative sampling strategy.

BlackRock Fund Advisors is the adviser for the fund.

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