BlackRock, which manages over $4.4 trillion in
assets, launched a package of 14 ETFs in Europe on Monday,
cutting the price of six in the range by as much as 58 percent.
ETFs are growing in popularity among retail investors as a
low-cost alternative to active fund management, and because they
trade like shares on an exchange which makes them easy to
access. The European market for ETFs has grown 23 percent a year
for the last five years, BlackRock said.
Its move follows similar ones earlier in the year by other big
European providers such as Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management
and Amundi to cut ETF prices.
BlackRock's ETF arm iShares manages some $211 billion of assets,
making it the biggest ETF provider in Europe, with almost half
the total market share. The company has cut the price on its S&P
500-tracking ETF from 15 basis points to seven - two below
low-cost rival Vanguard's.
"ETFs are coming of age in Europe," said Rachel Lord, head of
BlackRock's ETF division, iShares, for Europe, the Middle East
and Africa. "What started as a tool for institutions has now
been adopted by a broad spectrum of investors."
Lord added that the range of funds was aimed at retail investors
who were "looking to increasingly position ETFs as their vehicle
of choice for passive investing".
(Reporting By Jemima Kelly; Editing by Sophie Walker)
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