BOSTON, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Top asset manager BlackRock Inc
said its iShares ETFs have complied with index provider
moves to drop certain China securities in response to pressure
In a note to clients provided by a spokesman for the New
York asset manager on Monday, BlackRock listed five ETFs
affected by the index provider changes, including four funds
based on indexes provided by MSCI Inc and one
benchmarked against the FTSE Russell China 50 Index.
The move is the latest as Wall Street firms cut their
exposure to China, and shows the influence of index providers
whose products determine the flow of passive
Since last month MSCI, FTSE Russell and S&P Dow Jones have
said they will remove a total of 15 different companies from
equity indexes, among those that the U.S. Defense Department has
said have links to the Chinese military. Many of the companies
have denied the assertions, and China's government has said the
claims lack evidence.
BlackRock has declined to make executives available for
interviews. In its note to clients BlackRock said, "iShares ETFs
have adjusted and will continue to be responsive in accordance
with their respective indexes treatment of securities impacted
by recent U.S. sanctions on certain Chinese companies."
An MSCI-based fund listed by BlackRock is the $6.8 billion
iShares MSCI China ETF. As of Jan. 8, its top holdings
were Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings Ltd,
according to BlackRock's website.
Sanctioned firms like China Mobile Ltd, and
Hangzhou Hikvision, among the ETF's investments in
2020, are not currently listed.
(Reporting by Ross Kerber in Boston; Editing by Cynthia