BlackRock changes focus, name of Eastern European Trust
BlackRock’s closed ended Eastern European Trust is changing its name to BlackRock Emerging Europe and will implement a set of more concentrated holdings in line with the convictions of managers Sam Vecht and David Reid.
The new policy, approved by shareholders, will also see a new ticker for the listed fund: BEEP.
Holdings are to be cut from about 50 to between 20-30 stocks, and the managers will take an unconstrained approach versus the benchmark MSCI Emerging Europe 10/40 index – the same as previously used.
Investors have also been offered a cash exit equivalent to the net asset value less costs prior to the fifth anniversary of the shareholder vote that has just taken place.
Neil England, chairman of the investment trust (the fund) said: “We believe that our new investment policy is in the best interests of all shareholders and has the potential to enhance the long term performance prospects of the Company.2
“A conviction-led approach should enable the managers to generate attractive returns, by giving investors exposure to a carefully selected portfolio of longer term opportunities in European emerging markets. Additionally, changing the name to BlackRock Emerging Europe plc will give the Company the advantage of BlackRock’s presence in the retail market. Branding is becoming more important as more private investors look to investment trusts to meet their investment needs.”
Sam Vecht, portfolio manager (pictured), said: “We believe that the company’s structure is ideally suited to investing in emerging European markets, where liquidity can often be lower than in more mature stock markets. The five year time horizon until the first unlimited cash exit opportunity also fits well with this new investment approach. Investors in the Company should benefit from the fast growth, high returns and low valuations that Emerging Europe has to offer, a region which we believe is on the cusp of rediscovery.”