BlackRock has made changes to its fund range including the planned closure of its Japan vehicle and alterations to the investment strategy and name of its High Income Bond portfolio.
BlackRock has decided to close its Japan fund, run by Minoru Kikuchi, because its £6m size makes it uneconomical.
Managing director, head of UK retail, Tony Stenning told investors in a letter the fund has been in "virtual decline" throughout the decade since the AUM reached a high of £126m in March 2000.
"The fund hasn't been anywhere near this level for a number of years and we have sadly concluded that given its size it is unlikely to attract new investors," he says.
Stenning says BlackRock considered merging the fund with another mandate, but came to the conclusion there were none in its range with a sufficiently similar investment objective.
Investors in the Japan fund have three options: switch into another BlackRock fund; redeem units prior to the fund wind-up; or wait until the fund is closed.
Any switches will be free from initial charges and the fund will bear the winding up cost.
Meanwhile, BlackRock is adapting the investment strategy and name of its £106m High Income Bond fund.
It will be renamed the Corporate Bond fund, while income allocations will be reduced from once a month to once a quarter.
In addition, the new strategy removes the requirement to invest principally in sterling or euro denominated bonds. It will have no restriction on the currency of bonds in the portfolio, but will typically hedge securities back into sterling.
Managed by Daniel Mckernan, it will continue to invest in corporate bonds and provide total returns, and sit in the IMA £ Corporate Bond sector.
Stenning says the changes will make the fund more competitive, better reflect its nature and align its income policy with other vehicles in the sector.
The investment and allocations changes are subject to at least 75% unitholder approval, with a meeting due to be held on 15 September 2010. The name change will only take place if the other alterations are approved.
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