BlackRock rides out fundraising storm to float US income trust

Michael Bow
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BLACKROCK, the world’s biggest fund manager, yesterday overcame tough market conditions to close a £65m initial public offering (IPO) for a US equity income trust set to list in London.

The fund manager said the BlackRock North American Income Trust, which will invest in American equities, would list on the main market of the London Stock Exchange on 24 October.

Despite the close, BlackRock missed its original target to raise £100m, blaming uncertainty over the US Presidential election on 6 November. BlackRock specialist client group chairman Jonathan Ruck Keene said the IPO was a “tremendous achievement” in the face of current markets, and indicated the firm would still push to hit £100m at a later date.

“Following this initial offering, we anticipate issuing further equity in the near future as clouds lift over current US electoral uncertainty,” he said.

With falling trading volumes and investor confidence low, firms have been struggling to float trusts over the past year, with the BlackRock fund just the fourth investment trust to list in London this year.

The trust will be run from New York by the firm’s equity income team headed up by industry stalwarts Bob Shearer and Kathleen Anderson.