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BlackRock Lists Four ‘Core’ iShares ETFs


BlackRock’s iShares unit on Monday introduced four new exchange traded funds for its so-called core series that feature expense ratios under 0.2% and are designed for long-term investors.

The firm rolled out iShares Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF (IXUS), iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (IEMG), iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF (IEFA) and iShares Core Short-Term U.S. Bond ETF (ISTB).

“These new funds will complement the six existing funds in the iShares Core Series. This suite combines competitive pricing with diversified, tax-efficient products,” BlackRock, the largest ETF manager, said in a press release. “The iShares Core Series is designed to provide broad equity and fixed-income exposure, and allow long-term investors to tailor the mix of funds in their portfolio to match their individual choice.”

BlackRock (BLK) unveiled the new iShares Core Series targeting buy-and-hold investors earlier this month. As part of the move, the company slashed fees on six of its existing ETFs. [BlackRock Hits Back]

“Our goal is to continue to be the leading ETF provider in every region around the world. But being the global leader requires that we constantly adapt to meet changing client needs and to expand into new client segments,” said BlackRock President Robert Kapito during the firm’s third-quarter earnings call. [BlackRock Targets ETF Buy-and-Hold Investors]

ETF rivals Vanguard and Charles Schwab (SCHW) recently announced moves to cut fees for investors.

“Overall, this is not a price war. This is all about working with our clients,” says BlackRock CEO Larry Fink.

Monday’s launch of the emerging market ETF and the MSCI EAFE fund are notable because BlackRock already offers iShares MSCI Emerging Markets (EEM) and iShares MSCI EAFE (EFA). The new funds will have lower expense ratios, although the two existing ETFs are extremely liquid with very narrow bid/ask spreads.

Last week, Fink said aside from ETF expense ratios, total costs also include bid/ask spreads and index tracking error.

BlackRock has also emphasized that there are different user groups of ETFs, including short-term traders as well as buy-and-hold investors.

“Because investors that seek core portfolio products to buy and hold for the long term value price over other attributes, we have created a suite of products tailored just for them,” BlackRock’s Kapito said.

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