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Credit Suisse to sell $17.2-billion European ETF business

The Credit Suisse building in Zurich is shown in this file photo. The company is closing or reducing parts of its business to raise capital to meet new regulatory requirements.


Credit Suisse Group AG has put its $17.2-billion (U.S.) European exchange-traded fund business up for sale, according to sources familiar with the matter.

BlackRock Inc. and State Street Global Advisors are among the firms that have bid for the business, three of the sources said.

For BlackRock, the addition of Credit Suisse's ETF business would be the second international ETF business the firm has acquired this year. In March, BlackRock bought Toronto-based Claymore Investments from Guggenheim Partners LLC.

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The first round of bids for the Credit Suisse assets was due in early October and the investment banking arm of Credit Suisse is representing its parent company on the deal, they said.

Spokeswomen from Credit Suisse and BlackRock declined to comment. A State Street spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment.

With 58 ETFs, Credit Suisse is the fourth-largest ETF provider in Europe, with 5.6 per cent market share as of Sept. 30, according to ETFGI, a London-based ETF research firm.

BlackRock is the largest ETF provider in Europe, with more than 40 per cent of the $309-billion European ETF market. Its 192 European iShares ETFs had $126-billion in assets.

State Street's 41 SPDR ETFs in Europe had $3-billion in assets, making up just 1 per cent of the European market.

Credit Suisse's decision to sell its ETF business comes as the firm is closing or reducing other parts of its business to raise capital to meet new regulatory requirements.

Earlier this year, the firm said it was accelerating cuts in some of its asset management operations.

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In an interview on Saturday in Tokyo, BlackRock chief executive officer Laurence Fink told Reuters the firm was looking at a "fill-in ETF acquisition in another country."

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