SOURCE: Barclays Global Investors

May 05, 2006 09:35 ET

Barclays Global Investors Announces the Launch of 10 iShares® Subsector Funds

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 5, 2006 -- Barclays Global Investors (BGI) announced that 10 iShares Dow Jones Subsector Index Funds began trading today on the New York Stock Exchange. These exchange traded funds (ETFs) are the newest additions to the largest sector ETF product line in the United States, now totaling 35 funds with over $16 billion. The Funds' annual expense ratios are 0.48%.

                              Trading
Fund Name                     Symbol    Index Name
---------                      ---      ----------
iShares Dow Jones U.S.         IEO      Dow Jones US Select
 Oil & Gas Exploration &                Oil Exploration &
 Production Index Fund                   Production Index
iShares Dow Jones              IEZ      Dow Jones US Select
U.S. Oil Equipment &                    Oil Equipment & Services Index
 Services Index Fund
iShares Dow Jones              IHE      Dow Jones US Select
U.S. Pharmaceuticals                    Pharmaceuticals Index
 Index Fund
iShares Dow Jones              IHF      Dow Jones US Select
U.S. Healthcare Providers               Healthcare Providers Index
 Fund Index
iShares Dow Jones              IHI      Dow Jones US Select
U.S. Medical Devices                    Medical Equipment Index
 Index Fund
iShares Dow Jones              IAI      Dow Jones US Select
U.S. Broker-Dealers                     Investment Services Index
 Index Fund
iShares Dow Jones              IAK      Dow Jones US Select
U.S. Insurance Index Fund               Insurance Index
iShares Dow Jones              IAT      Dow Jones US Select
U.S. Regional Banks                     Regional Banks Index
 Index Fund
iShares Dow Jones              ITA      Dow Jones US Select
U.S. Aerospace & Defense                Aerospace & Defense Index
 Index Fund
iShares Dow Jones              ITB      Dow Jones US Select
U.S. Home Construction                  Home Construction Index
 Index Fund

"We're pleased to provide investors with the opportunity for more precise exposure provided by iShares subsector ETFs," said Lee Kranefuss, CEO of BGI's Intermediary and ETF Business. "We work closely with our clients to identify and develop products that answer their needs today and in the future. Due to the Dow Jones sector series being market cap weighted, many investors have asked us for a way to provide subsector exposure in situations where the broader sector is dominated by large cap names."

The iShares Funds now includes a total of 111 exchange traded funds with over $207 billion in total assets under management as of May 5, 2006. So far this year, over $17 billion in net cash has been invested in iShares Funds.

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(1) providing structured investment strategies such as risk-controlled active strategies and indexing. In the U.S., BGI is one of the largest active managers(2), set apart by its risk-controlled approach. BGI manages 65% of the world's 100 largest pension plans(3) and is the global leader in assets and products in exchange traded funds through its iShares® brand with more than 140 ETFs. The firm managed over $1.5 trillion in assets as of 12/31/05, for more than 2,800 clients in 52 countries around the world. BGI is a majority-owned subsidiary of Barclays Bank PLC.

There are risks involved with investing, including possible loss of principal. In addition to the normal risks associated with investing, narrowly focused investments typically exhibit higher volatility.

Transactions in shares of the iShares Funds will result in brokerage commissions and will generate tax consequences. Mutual funds and 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.

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 wholly owned subsidiary of Barclays Bank PLC, none of which is affiliated with SEI.

The iShares Funds are not sponsored, endorsed, or issued by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Dow Jones & Company, Inc. makes no representation regarding the advisability of investing in the Funds. Neither SEI nor BGI, nor any of their affiliates, are affiliated with Dow Jones & Company.

© 2006 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 5, 2005.

(2) Source: “Special Reports: Money Manager Directory,” Pensions & Investments, May 30, 2005.

(3) Source: “P&I/Watson Wyatt World’s 250 Largest Retirement Plans,” Pensions & Investments, December 27, 2004.