BlackRock and DWS have agreed to waive the total expense ratios (TER) on their suspended Russia-focused ETFs as they remain in limbo.

In a market announcement, BlackRock said it would relinquish the TER on its iShares MSCI Russia ADR/GDR UCITS ETF (CSRU) and the iShares MSCI Eastern Europe Capped UCITS ETF (IEER) from 2 March until further notice.

CSRU and IEER have TERs of 0.65% and 0.74%, respectively.

DWS also announced it would be waiving fees on the Xtrackers MSCI Russia Capped Swap UCITS ETF (XMRC) from 1 March.

Both the management fee (0.45%) and the fixed fee (0.20%) for the 1C share class will be reduced to 0% for the remainder of the waiver period.

BlackRock said the decision was taken considering the “extraordinary market circumstances” with both ETFs varying significantly in the way they track their underlying securities.

CSRU has significant exposure to depository receipts, which are US or Europe-listed securities that represent ownership of underlying shares in the company, many of which have seen trading suspended on exchanges throughout Europe.

Meanwhile, the IEER holds the securities on the Moscow Stock Exchange which has been closed since 25 February.

BlackRock said: “Having regard to the extraordinary market circumstances, the fund's significant exposure to Russian securities which are affected by market closures and trading restrictions, and the suspension of valuation of the fund, the board of BlackRock has taken the decision to waive TER it is entitled to be paid by the fund with effect from 2 March 2022 until further notice.”

The move follows a flurry of suspensions in early March which saw all Russian ETFs stop creation and redemption trading of ETFs as liquidity vanished in the Russian market.

The ETFs were then thrown into unchartered territory as major European exchanges halted trading, meaning they could no longer trade on the secondary market.

Other issuers have yet to announce if they would be following suit by waiving fees.

HSBC Asset Management, Invesco and Amundi did not respond to a request for comment.

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