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BlackRock cuts ETF prices prior to Labor Dept's fiduciary rule

Oct 5 BlackRock Inc, the world's biggest asset manager, said it would cut prices across its growing U.S. iShares Core exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to help wealth advisers transition to a new rule governing retirement products.

The rule, announced by the Department of Labor in April and effective next year, sets a so-called fiduciary standard for financial brokers who sell retirement products, requiring them to put clients' best interests ahead of their own bottom line.

The language in the new rule is tougher than an existing rule that only requires brokers to ensure products are "suitable."

BlackRock said it would lower the expense management ratio for 15 U.S. iShares Core ETFs within its iShares business by 2 to 5 basis points.

The management fee for its flagship iShares Core S&P 500 ETF will fall to 4 bps from the current 7 bps.

"Now, with the Department of Labor fiduciary rule coming into force, financial advisors are sharpening their focus on the quality and cost-efficiency of funds," BlackRock said in a statement.

Fidelity Investments, which had dominated the U.S. mutual fund industry until the dot-com bubble burst in the early 2000s, had lowered expenses on 27 Index Mutual Funds and ETFs in June. (bit.ly/2cRzTdR) (Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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