SOURCE: Barclays Global Investors

August 15, 2008 09:40 ET

Barclays Global Investors Announces Launch of iShares Exchange Traded Fund With Broad Exposure to Asian Equity Market

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - August 15, 2008) - Barclays Global Investors (BGI) announced today the launch of the iShares MSCI All Country Asia ex Japan Index Fund on The NASDAQ Stock Market (NASDAQ: AAXJ). This new iShares Fund deepens the large iShares international ETF family by offering broad, diversified access to Asian equity-market performance of China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. The fund's management fee is 0.74%.

"Since iShares launched the first pure mainland China ETF for U.S. investors in 2005, investors have continued to ask for deeper access to the Asian markets," said Michael Latham, CEO of U.S. iShares at Barclays Global Investors. "The iShares MSCI All Country Asia ex Japan Index Fund includes developed markets such as Hong Kong and Singapore, as well as emerging markets such as India and Thailand, without the weighted impact of Japan and Australia."

The iShares Funds are index funds that 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.

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 or by visiting www.ishares.com. Read the prospectus carefully before investing.

Barclays Global Investors is one of the world's largest asset managers and a leading global provider of investment management products and services. It has over 2,900 institutional clients and over $2.0 trillion of assets under management. It transformed the investment industry by creating the first index strategy in 1971 and the first quantitative active strategy in 1979. BGI is the global product leader in exchange traded funds (iShares) with over 320 funds for institutions and individuals globally.

Investing involves risks, including possible loss of principal. Transactions in shares of the iShares Funds will result in brokerage commissions. Diversification may not protect against market risk. 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.

The iShares Funds ("Funds") are distributed by SEI Investments Distribution Co. (SEI). Barclays Global Fund Advisors (BGFA) serves as an advisor to the Funds. BGFA is a subsidiary of Barclays Global Investors, N.A., a majority-owned subsidiary of Barclays Bank PLC, none of which is affiliated with SEI.

BGFA has contractually agreed to waive the Fund's management fees in an amount equal to the Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses incurred by the Fund through November 30, 2009. After giving effect to such contractual waiver, the net expense ratio is 0.74%.

©2008 Barclays Global Investors, N.A. All rights reserved. iShares® is a registered trademark of Barclays Global Investors, N.A. All other trademarks, servicemarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.