BlackRock Changes US Bond ETF Benchmarks

Move comes after Barclays sold its index business to Bloomberg.

Reviewed by: Trevor Hunnicutt
Edited by: Trevor Hunnicutt

New York (Reuters) – BlackRock Inc. said late last week it will change the benchmarks on four iShares Treasury ETFs from Barclays' Treasury bond indexes to ICE's Treasury bond indexes, effective on or after March 31.

The four iShares ETFs affected by the switch are the iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Bond (SHY | A-97); the iShares 3-7 Year Treasury Bond (IEI | A-73); the iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF (IEF | A-55) and the iShares 20-plus Year Treasury Bond (TLT | A-83), BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, said in a statement.

Funds Hold $36B In Assets

The funds are among the most popular U.S. taxable bond ETFs, with combined assets of nearly $36 billion, according to data from Morningstar.

Interactive Data, which oversees the ICE bond indexes, is a subsidiary of the Intercontinental Exchange, which operates the New York Stock Exchange.

“Choosing Interactive Data as the new benchmark provider for four of our Treasury ETFs occurred after a thorough due diligence, testing and selection process,” Ira Shapiro, a managing director at BlackRock, said in a statement.

BlackRock's move came after Barclays sold its benchmark indexes and risk analytics business to financial information provider Bloomberg for about $781 million in December.

Even after the switch, BlackRock will still have a large suite of ETFs that track Barclays' bond indexes, including the widely held iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (AGG | A-98), which has $31.6 billion in assets.

Trevor Hunnicutt is a staff writer for Reuters.