(Adds context, response from BlackRock)
FRANKFURT Aug 27 The European Central Bank has
hired BlackRock Solutions to provide consultancy services in its
preparations for a programme to buy asset-backed securities
(ABS), an ECB spokesman said on Wednesday.
BlackRock, the world's largest money manager, will provide
advice on the design and implementation of a potential ABS
purchase programme, but all final decisions will be taken by the
ECB itself, the spokesman said.
BlackRock declined to comment on its mandate with the ECB.
ECB President Mario Draghi said on Friday the central bank's
preparations for outright purchases of ABS were "fast moving
forward and we expect that it should contribute to further
New York-based BlackRock Inc has played a prominent
role in helping Europe deal with its financial crisis, designing
stress tests for the Greek and Irish central banks in the wake
of their crises.
The Bank of Greece hired BlackRock to conduct an asset
quality review to determine potential credit losses up to 2016.
The Irish Central bank similarly used BlackRock
as a consultant to examine its books, including a review of its
commercial real estate loans.
BlackRock had nearly $4.6 trillion (3.49 trillion euro) in
assets under management at the end of June. The company's
BlackRock Solutions and advisory business generated $146
million(110.66 million euro) in revenue in the second quarter,
or about 5.3 percent of its total revenue.
(1 euro = 1.3193 US dollar)
(Reporting by Eva Taylor in Frankfurt and Ashley Lau in New
York; Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Robin Pomeroy and Tom