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BlackRock profit beats as ETFs attract more investment

[BENGALURU] BlackRock on Friday reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, as investors flooded into the world's biggest asset manager's exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

The company's profit was boosted by a US$1.2 billion gain related to the recent enactment of the US tax laws, and the company also raised its quarterly cash dividend by 15 per cent.

Booming markets drove demand for index-tracking ETFs in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, and helped push the assets BlackRock oversees past US$6 trillion.

"We're winning more and more clients, and we're winning more of their wallet," chief executive Larry Fink told CNBC, who said he is generally optimistic about the trajectory of US stocks.

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BlackRock said its iShares ETF business took in US$54.8 billion in new money in the quarter, up from US$49.3 billion a year earlier.

The New York-based company's net income surged to US$2.3 billion, or US$14.07 per share, from US$851 million, or US$5.13 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding the benefit from the new tax law, BlackRock earned US$6.24 per share. Analysts on an average expected the company to earn US$6.02 per share, according to Thomson Reuters.

The company ended the quarter with US$6.29 trillion in assets under management, up 22 per cent from US$5.98 trillion at the end of the third quarter.

Net investment in fixed-income securities totalled US$42.95 billion. BlackRock attracted total "long-term" net flows of US$102.93 billion in the quarterly period.

BlackRock shares were up nearly two per cent in pre-market trading on Friday.

REUTERS

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