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BlackRock grabs $102.8 bln in ETF flows in 2014, setting record

Investors poured $102.8 billion in new money into BlackRock's exchange-traded funds in 2014, setting a record in global flows for its iShares ETF business, the company said on Monday.

The inflows into BlackRock accounted for 31 percent of the total $330.7 billion in new money added to the global ETF market in 2014 as investors flocked to the low-cost, index-tracking funds. Global ETF assets now stand at more than $2.7 trillion.

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In December, U.S.-listed exchange-traded funds and products alone surpassed $2 trillion in assets for the first time, according to research firm ETFGI. BlackRock, the largest U.S. ETF provider, followed by State Street and Vanguard, has been a beneficiary of the growth.

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The bulk of BlackRock's ETF inflows in 2014 came from its U.S.-listed iShares funds, which added $82.8 billion in new money, doubling its 2013 net flows and also setting a record.

Mark Wiedman, global head of iShares at BlackRock, said fixed-income was also a key driver of the company's global ETF flows in 2014, with $40.3 billion in new money added to its fixed-income ETFs alone.

Fixed-income ETFs in October saw large inflows as investors moved their bond money into ETFs following Bill Gross's departure from Pimco in late September. The move shocked many investors, who in turn looked to broad, liquid ETFs as a place to park their assets.

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New York-based BlackRock, which now has more than $1 trillion in global ETF assets, has benefited from investors turning to ETFs as low-cost substitutes for traditional mutual funds or in some cases for new uses such as replacements for futures and swaps.

The new global iShares ETF flow record in 2014 beats its previous annual record in 2008, when investors added $88.6 billion in new money into the funds.

BlackRock is to report its fourth-quarter 2014 results on Jan 15.