Barclays Global Investors is blazing the trail for the exchange-traded fund (ETF) business as federal regulators have lifted key investment restrictions on its iShares product.

The Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this month issued an exemptive relief order permitting mutual funds to invest in iShares exchange-traded funds in excess of the maximum amount outlined in section 12(d) of the Investment Company Act of 1940. The move is a significant milestone for the San Francisco-based asset manager as it makes iShares the first ETF family to be exempt from an investing limit.

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