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BlackRock Withdraws Merger Proposal

The boards of directors of 10 BlackRock closed-end municipal funds have decided to withdraw a proxy vote they had wanted to put before shareholders to merge the funds to result in only four funds. The boards made the decision at their quarterly meetings Nov. 18.

The boards had decided in July that it would be in the best interest of shareholders to merge the 10 funds in order to increase their share prices and monthly dividends.

However, since that time, interest rates have increased and consequently, yields on municipal bonds have also increased, reducing the importance of higher dividends, the company said. In addition, the share prices of closed-end municipal funds have decreased, depressing the anticipated increases in prices from the proposed mergers, the company said.

As of Sept. 30, BlackRock had $148.1 billion of assets under management.