BlackRock Inc. is muscling into trading venues that had long been the exclusive territory of big banks as the world's biggest asset manager seeks to make up for declining liquidity in the bond market.

BlackRock revealed last week that it's now trading bonds directly with inter-dealer brokers, following years of warning that liquidity is waning. In September, BlackRock said the corporate bond market is "broken."

Banks have long facilitated the business, but regulations passed after the 2008 crisis hobbled their ability to do so. By trading with inter-dealer brokers — an industry that includes ICAP Plc and Tullett Prebon Plc — BlackRock is circumventing a middleman.

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