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BlackRock posts Q1 net inflows of $55bn despite volatility

BlackRockPassive investment specialist BlackRock attracted $55 billion (€45 billion) of new investor cash in the first quarter of this year despite what it described as “challenging” market conditions.

The New York-based firm’s iShares exchange-traded funds (ETFs) accounted for $34.6 billion of those inflows, down 46% compared with the first quarter of 2017.

Revenue rose 16% to $3.58 billion, up from $3.09 billion in the first quarter of last year, while earnings rose 27% to $1.09 billion, from $859 million a year ago.

Adjusted earnings per share were $6.70, compared with $5.23 a year ago, and above analyst expectations of $6.39.

Meanwhile, assets under management remained broadly flat at $6.32 trillion by the end of March compared with the end of 2017 and up from $5.42 trillion in March 2017.

“Investors experienced a spike in market volatility during the quarter, driven by concerns over global trade policies, a heightened focus on rates and inflation, and headlines in the technology sector,” said BlackRock chairman and chief executive Laurence Fink.

“Institutional investors, in particular, reacted to these factors, by de-risking and re-balancing. At the same time, we also saw many corporate clients adapting to US tax reform by seeking liquidity to fund future capital investment or more aggressive share repurchases.”

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