While Barclays has found a buyer for its iShares line of exchange traded funds (ETFs), the bank’s fund unit is in talks with potential buyers, too. Both BlackRock Inc. (BLK) and Bank of New York Mellon (BK) are in talks to become the world’s largest money manager and buy Barclays Plc’s fund unit, report Christopher Condon and Sree Vidya Bhaktavatsalam for Bloomberg. Each covets iShares, quantitative index investments and securities-lending business, analysts say.

If BlackRock bought Barclays, they would become the world’s largest publicly traded money manager with $2.8 trillion in assets. BNY Mellon would become the world’s largest custody bank, with $2.4 trillion in assets.

Barclays has until June 18 to solicit better offers for iShares and other BGI businesses. Their capital adequacy ratios lag behind those of other larger British rivals. iShares had $262 billion in its U.S.-based ETFs as of April 30, the most in the industry.

Whatever happens with these talks, iShares will remain autonomous – that’s what’s most important to ETF investors.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.

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