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BlackRock profit misses as investors opt out of expensive funds

BlackRock profit misses as investors opt out of expensive funds
FILE PHOTO - A sign for BlackRock Inc hangs above their building in New York U.S., July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo GLOBAL BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD   -   Copyright  Lucas Jackson(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – BlackRock Inc <BLK.N> reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday, as market volatility towards the end of 2018 prompted investors to pull out money from the world’s biggest asset manager’s actively managed funds.

They pulled out $34.6 billion (£26.9 billion) from the company’s more actively traded and higher cost institutional equity index accounts and focussed more on low-risk, low-cost exchange traded funds.

BlackRock ended the fourth quarter with $5.98 trillion in assets under management, down from $6.44 trillion in the preceding quarter.

Net income attributable to BlackRock fell to $927 million, or $5.78 per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, from $2.30 billion, or $14.01 per share, a year earlier, when it took a one-time gain from changes in the U.S. tax law.

In the reported quarter, the company also took a $60 million charge related to job cuts last year.

Excluding the restructuring charges, the company earned $6.08 per share, compared with $6.19 per share, a year ago.

Analysts on an average expected BlackRock to report $6.27 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

(Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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