iShares Launches the First International Sector ETFs that Include Developed and Emerging Markets Exposure

BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE: BLK) today announced that the iShares Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) business, the world’s largest provider of ETFs, launched nine iShares MSCI ACWI ex US sector funds on NYSE Arca that are the first to market international sector ETFs that include both developed and emerging markets exposures.1 The new funds each track their respective MSCI All Country World ex USA sector index and have an expense ratio of 0.48%. iShares has the largest number of sector ETFs and international ETFs2. The new funds are:

iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Consumer Discretionary Sector Index Fund (AXDI)
iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Consumer Staples Sector Index Fund (AXSL)
iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Energy Sector Index Fund (AXEN)
iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Health Care Sector Index Fund (AXHE)
iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Industrials Sector Index Fund (AXID)
iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Information Technology Sector Index Fund (AXIT)
iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Materials Sector Index Fund (AXMT)
iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Telecommunication Services Sector Index Fund (AXTE)
iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Utilities Sector Index Fund (AXUT)

“We are expanding our international sector offering with the iShares MSCI ACWI ex US sector funds because as financial advisors increasingly fine tune their clients’ international exposure and institutional investors become more tactical internationally, we can make it easier for them to access the markets more efficiently,” said Noel Archard, Head of iShares Product Research and Development at BlackRock. “The new iShares funds are also a great complement to iShares MSCI-based international product set. The consistency of the indices and the iShares funds facilitates the effective building and managing of international portfolios.”

About BlackRock: BlackRock is a leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients worldwide. At March 31, 2010, BlackRock’s AUM was $3.364 trillion. BlackRock offers products that span the risk spectrum to meet clients’ needs, including active, enhanced and index strategies across markets and asset classes. Products are offered in a variety of structures including separate accounts, mutual funds, iShares® exchange traded funds, and other pooled investment vehicles. BlackRock also offers risk management, advisory and enterprise investment system services to a broad base of institutional investors through BlackRock Solutions®. Headquartered in New York City, as of March 31, 2010, the firm has approximately 8,500 employees in 24 countries and a major presence in key global markets, including North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East and Africa. For additional information, please visit the Company’s website at www.blackrock.com

About iShares: iShares is the global product leader in exchange traded funds with over 430 funds globally across equities, fixed income and commodities, which trade on 16 exchanges worldwide. The iShares Funds are bought and sold like common stocks on securities exchanges. The iShares Funds are attractive to many individual and institutional investors and financial intermediaries because of their relative low cost, tax efficiency and trading flexibility. Investors can purchase and sell shares through any brokerage firm, financial advisor, or online broker, and hold the funds in any type of brokerage account. The iShares customer base consists of the institutional segment of pension plans and fund managers, as well as the retail segment of financial advisors and high net worth individuals.

Contacts for Press:
 
Lance Berg
415-670-2045
[email protected]

 
Christine Hudacko
415-670-2687
[email protected]
 
All Other US Inquiries:
1-800-iShares (1-800-474-2737)

Carefully consider the funds’ investment objectives, risk factors, and charges and expenses before investing. This and other information can be found in the funds’ prospectuses, which may be obtained by calling 1-800-iShares (1-800-474-2737) or by visiting www.iShares.com. Read the prospectus carefully before investing.

Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. Transactions in shares of the iShares Funds will result in brokerage commissions and will generate tax consequences. iShares Funds are obliged to distribute portfolio gains to shareholders. Shares of the iShares Funds may be sold throughout the day on the exchange through any brokerage account. However, shares may only be redeemed directly from a Fund by Authorized Participants, in very large creation/redemption units.

In addition to the normal risks associated with investing, international investments may involve risk of capital loss from unfavorable fluctuation in currency values, from differences in generally accepted accounting principles or from economic or political instability in other nations. Emerging markets involve heightened risks related to the same factors as well as increased volatility and lower trading volume. Narrowly focused investments may be subject to higher volatility.

This information is not intended to be a forecast of future events or a guarantee of future results.

The iShares Funds (“Funds”) are distributed by SEI Investments Distribution Co. (“SEI”). BlackRock Fund Advisors (“BFA”) serves as the investment advisor to the Funds. BlackRock Fund Distribution Company (“BFDC”) assists in the marketing of the Funds. BFA and BFDC are affiliates of BlackRock, Inc., none of which is affiliated with SEI.

The iShares Funds are not sponsored, endorsed, issued, sold or promoted by MSCI Inc., nor does this company make any representation regarding the advisability of investing in the Funds. Neither SEI, nor BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A., nor any of their affiliates, are affiliated with the company listed above.

©2010 BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A. iShares® is a registered trademark of BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A. All other trademarks, servicemarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

* Not FDIC Insured * No Bank, State or Federal Guarantee * May Lose Value

1Source: BlackRock data as of June 10
2Source: Bloomberg and BlackRock as of June 10

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