The iShares Core MSCI Pacific ETF (NYSEArca: IPAC) and the iShares Core MSCI Europe ETF (NYSEArca: IEUR) were two of the most successful new ETFs to debut last year, accumulating assets under management totals of $223.8 million and $208.6 million, respectively.

BlackRock is also expanding its ETF footprint in Europe as traders look for alternatives to increasingly cost-prohibitive futures contracts. The cost of holding futures contracts has risen due to increased regulatory scrutiny. Pricier cost of futures ownership comes as more ETF providers are trimming in fees in an effort to lure investors’ assets.

“ETFs have also been discovered by capital market participants, who are using them as efficient substitutes for futures and swaps,” said Mark Wiedman, global head of iShares at BlackRock, in the statement.

On a global basis, iShares had more than $1 trillion in AUM at the end of last year.

Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of EFA and IVV.

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