BlackRock figures show fourth quarter rush into ETFs

BlackRock figures show fourth quarter rush into ETFs

BlackRock’s inflows surged in the fourth quarter as investors poured money into its iShares ETF business.

The firm reported $98bn of net inflows between October and December, outpacing the previous quarter’s $68bn and resulting in a record $202bn full year total.

iShares generated $49bn worth of net inflows in Q4 and $140bn for the whole of 2016, a new high which included $60bn into fixed income ETFs over the twelve months.

“Investors are rethinking their approach to active management, asset allocation and portfolio construction, and we’re seeing more clients use active and index strategies together to deliver returns,” BlackRock’s chairman and chief executive Laurence Fink.

US stocks have rallied since November’s surprise election of Donald Trump who plans to cut taxes and regulations. However, a combination of a strengthening dollar, underperforming international equities and negative fixed income markets produced challenging outcomes for global investors last year.

“We have purposefully invested in our platform to provide clients with a full spectrum of offerings including cash, market cap-weighted indexes, smart beta and factor-based investment strategies, and high-conviction active products, whether fundamental, quantitative or illiquid,” Fink added.

BlackRock ended the final quarter of 2016 with $5.15trn in assets under management, up from a year earlier when managed assets totaled $4.65trn. Full-year revenue came in at $2.89bn, versus the consensus estimate of $2.96bn.

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