Black Rock announces 40% dividend increase

US investment management firm BlackRock has announced it is increasing its quarterly cash dividend by 40 per cent, to $0.42 per share of common stock.

The increase in dividend, approved by the company's board of directors, represents $0.12 per share above the previous quarter's payout.

The dividend is payable on March 23rd 2006 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 7th 2006.

BlackRock chairman and CEO Laurence D Fink said: "Increasing the dividend for a third consecutive year reflects the company's strong financial position and management's confidence in our future prospects."

BlackRock has reported that the board will review its dividend policy annually at its regularly scheduled first quarter meeting.

BlackRock is one of the largest publicly traded investment management firms in the United States. The company announced plans recently to take over the asset management arm of Merrill Lynch in a deal that will create one of the world's biggest asset management groups, with an estimated $1 trillion worth of assets.

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