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NEW YORK CITY-BlackRock Inc.’s BlackRock International Growth and Income Trust has raised $1.97 billion on it initial public offering. The closed-end equity fund began trading on the New York Stock Exchange Friday, under the ticker symbol BGY.

The initial share price was set at $20 and a total of 98.5 million shares were issued, according to a BlackRock statement.

“The successful initial public offering of the International Growth and Income Trust is yet another example of the strength of the new BlackRock,” says Frank Porcelli, managing director and head of BlackRock’s Private Client Group. “This is the largest single fund offering in BlackRock’s history and further positions the firm as a leading closed-end fund provider with over 100 funds and $45 billion of assets under management.”

Wachovia Capital Markets LLC, Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. underwrote the IPO. BlackRock Advisors LLC served as the investment advisor to the fund. The total raised in the IPO could be increased to $2.3 billion if the underwriters utilize their over-allotment in full.

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