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BlackRock Adding Cheap ETFs in Retail Race With Vanguard

BlackRock Inc., the biggest provider of exchange-traded funds, is ramping up its fight with Vanguard Group Inc. for U.S. retail investors by doubling the number of funds in its low-fee “core” series.

BlackRock’s iShares unit cut fees on six existing funds and opened four new products, the New York-based company said today in a statement. BlackRock introduced its core lineup in October 2012 and rolled out a similar group of funds in Europe last week.

“We are now taking buy-and-hold investing up a level with greater choice and flexibility,” Patrick Dunne, iShares’ head of global markets and investments, said in the statement.

Under iShares head Mark Wiedman, BlackRock is working to stop the loss of market share to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania-based Vanguard, whose broad-market ETFs are popular among individual savers for their low cost. In the one year through May 31, Vanguard’s U.S.-registered ETFs took in $50.9 billion in net deposits, compared with iShares’ $36.6 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The four new iShares funds, which begin trading June 12, will invest in European and Pacific region stocks, U.S. stocks with growing dividends and the U.S. bond market.

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