| LONDON, June 2
LONDON, June 2 BlackRock, the world's
biggest asset manager, slashed the prices of some of its
exchange traded funds (ETFs) on Monday to compete in a European
price war as the products become increasingly popular with
retail investors in the region.
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 divison, 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)