LONDON (Reuters) - BlackRock <BLK.N>, the world's biggest asset manager, said on Thursday that it planned to absorb the costs of external research under new European Union rules due to go live in January 2018.


As part of the EU's Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II, or Mifid II, asset managers will have to agree a price for all research obtained from brokers. Currently most research is given out for free, with brokers recouping the cost through fees on executing trades for fund managers.


BlackRock, which employs more than 300 research staff, said it still needed external research to help it deliver the best outcomes for clients.


"We are committed to developing our internal capabilities, while ensuring our teams retain access to external research that adds value to the investment process," the company said in a statement.


"From January 2018, any external research costs incurred for MiFID-impacted funds and client accounts will be paid for by BlackRock," it said.


BlackRock joins a growing list of asset managers to confirm they would pay for all research costs themselves rather than pass it on to clients, including Vanguard, Allianz Global Investors and Deutsche Asset Management.

(Reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Rachel Armstrong)