BlackRock says reviewing ETF index contracts, nothing 'imminent'

Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:56am EST

Feb 11 (Reuters) - BlackRock Inc, the largest manager of exchange-traded funds, said on Monday it is reviewing the terms of its contracts with index providers but added that no changes were "imminent."

Mark Wiedman, global head of BlackRock's iShares ETF unit, made the remarks while speaking at the Index Universe Inside ETFs conference in Hollywood, Florida, spokeswoman Melissa Garville confirmed.

The remarks were first reported by the financial weekly Barron's.

Over the past year, ETF managers have been cutting costs, including index licensing fees, amid fierce competition for investor dollars. Shares of index provider MSCI tumbled 27 percent in one day last October after Vanguard Group said it would switch 22 of its funds away from MSCI benchmarks to cheaper indexes.

So far, BlackRock has stuck with MSCI on many of its funds.

Shares of BlackRock were up $1.41, or 0.59 percent, to $239.57 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange. MSCI shares were down 16 cents, or 0.47 percent, to $33.83.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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