SOURCE: Barclays Global Investors

March 30, 2007 09:35 ET

Barclays Global Investors Announces Launch of iShares® S&P U.S. Preferred Stock Exchange Traded Fund

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 30, 2007 -- Barclays Global Investors (BGI) announced today that the iShares S&P U.S. Preferred Stock Index Fund (ticker: PFF) began trading on the American Stock Exchange. With an annual expense ratio of 0.48%, the new iShares Fund provides pure exposure to a diversified basket of preferred stocks.

"For financial advisors, individual investors and institutional investors, such as foundations/endowments, who seek income from their investments, preferred stock generally offers a higher yield than common stocks, with expected volatility and returns between common stocks and bonds," said Noel Archard, Head of iShares Product Development. "Because of low correlations to common stocks and bonds, this may be a good complement to other income-generating vehicles, such as fixed income or dividend-paying stock portfolios. With the iShares S&P U.S. Preferred Stock Index Fund investors can invest in a basket of preferred stock in one trade at a low cost."

The underlying index measures the performance of a select group of preferred stocks listed on the NYSE, AMEX or the Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc. The underlying index does not seek to directly reflect the performance of the companies issuing the preferred stock.

Preferred stock is a class of equity security that pays a specified dividend that must be paid before any dividends can be paid to common stockholders, and which takes precedence over common stock in the event of the company's liquidation. Although preferred stocks represent a partial ownership interest in a company, preferred stocks generally do not carry voting rights. Preferred stocks generally are issued with a fixed par value and pay dividends based on a percentage of that par value at a fixed or variable rate.

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 Read the prospectus carefully before investing.

BGI is one of the world's largest asset managers(1) and a leading global provider of investment management products and services. It has over 2,900 institutional clients and over $1.8 trillion of assets under management as of 12/31/06. 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 190 funds for institutions and individuals trading in fifteen markets. Globally, BGI and its affiliates have approximately $287 billion of iShares assets under management. BGI is a majority-owned subsidiary of Barclays Bank PLC.

There are risks involved with investing, including possible loss of principal.

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

© 2007 Barclays Global Investors. 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.

(1) Source: “P&I/Watson Wyatt World 500,” Pensions & Investments, September 4, 2006.