Friday's Headlines: BlackRock's retail fund business aimed to boom

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BofA's decision to sell its remaining stake in BlackRock should make it easier for the asset manager to reach its goal of doubling its retail mutual fund business in the next three years, according to Investment News. It quotes a Morningstar analyst as saying, "They are no longer owned by a competitor, and that's going to make it a lot easier to go to the other platforms and sell their funds."

BlackRock's mutual fund market penetration at broker-dealers other than BofA Merrill Lynch has jumped to 5%, from less than 1% in 2006. Since the market low of 2008-09, the firm has seen its retail actively managed fund business rise to $200 billion, from $185 billion.

Other news:

FrontPoint Partners, once a multibillion-dollar hedge fund before it was battered by allegations of insider trading, will shut down most of its funds by the end of the month. [DealBook]

Moody's slashed the credit rating of six Danish banks. [Bloomberg]

Former BP head Tony Hayward plans to raise at least $1.6 billion for an energy investment fund IPO. [BusinessWeek]

Florida regulators claim life insurers may be keeping at least $1 billion in unclaimed benefits owed to policyholders, beneficiaries or states; MetLife defends its tactics. [Investment News]

This week saw the launch of a London-based hedge fund that relies on Twitter feeds to analyze a collection of human emotions and predict activity in the markets on a given day. [HFN]

Oaktree Capital Management is reported to be planning a listing on the New York Stock Exchange.[HFN]

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