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Mystery $3.7 Billion Pushed Through BlackRock ETF Stumps Traders

  • Previously sleepy fund sees huge amounts pour in and out
  • IShares MSCI Kokusai tracks index of stocks, excluding Japan
BlackRock headquarters in New York.

BlackRock headquarters in New York.

Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg

In just a matter of weeks, $3.7 billion suddenly entered and then exited a BlackRock Inc. exchange-traded fund that barely had any day-to-day action over its 15 year life-span, leaving traders scratching their heads for clues as to what’s behind the move.

On Jan. 25, after months of recording zero inflows, the iShares MSCI Kokusai exchange-traded fund (ticker TOK) brought in $3.7 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The ETF then continued trading like normal -- with mostly zero flows -- until the billions swiftly exited the fund over two separate trading days in February.