GLOBAL - Barclays Global Investors today confirmed the sale of its iShares exchange traded funds (ETFs) division to CVC Partners at a sale price of $4.4bn (€3.3bn).

"The value of iShares was not appreciated by the overall market," commented Mike O'Brien, head of distribution at Barclays Global Investors, who added that the transaction comes at time when Barclays clearly is in need of a capital boost.

O'Brien said BGI will remain focused on its core businesses of active quant and indexed equities and fixed income, as well as other areas such as hedge funds.

He also said the transition of iShares from BGI was slated for 4-7 months. Key executives, including Rory Tobin, chief executive of iShares Europe, will move to the new entity. iShares currently has assets under management of €254bn and recorded net ETF inflows in Europe of €17.8bn in 2008, up from €5.8bn in 2007.

Institutional investors, including multi-asset or diversified growth funds aimed at institutions, report increasing use of ETFs within their portfolios.