SOURCE: Barclays Global Investors

September 25, 2009 09:40 ET

Barclays Global Investors Announces Three New Ishares Russell Exchange-Traded Funds

iShares Expands Access to Domestic Equity With Three New Large Cap ETFs, Complementing Existing Suite of Russell ETFs

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - September 25, 2009) - Barclays Global Investors, N.A. (BGI), the world's largest Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) provider(1), announced that the iShares Russell Top 200 Index Fund (NYSE Arca: IWL), iShares Russell Top 200 Growth Index Fund (NYSE Arca: IWY), and iShares Russell Top 200 Value Index Fund (NYSE Arca: IWX) will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange today. The funds seek to provide targeted access to the largest companies within the large cap equity asset class. The Russell Top 200 Index is a subset of the Russell 1000® Index and includes approximately 200 of the largest securities based on a combination of their market cap and current index membership, comprising approximately 65% of the U.S. market.

"With the addition of the iShares Russell Top 200 Funds, individuals, financial professionals and institutions can now specifically target the largest portion of the Russell 1000 Index, enhancing their asset allocation and portfolio management opportunities," said Michael Latham, co-CEO of iShares at BGI. "We are excited to expand our current US equity product set in response to investor demand, and as always, will continue to evaluate opportunities to provide access to new segments of the market."

iShares offers the greatest number of exchange-traded funds tracking Russell indexes, with the iShares Russell fund series now totaling 16, which include funds that track the Russell 1000®, Russell Midcap, Russell 2000® and Russell 3000® indexes along with each of their corresponding value and growth indexes, plus the Russell Microcap®.

"The methodology behind Russell's equity indexes has proven to be a very effective tool as the underlying benchmarks for exchange-traded funds," said Ron Bundy, Managing Director for Indexes at Russell Investments. "These new iShares ETFs further enhance the flexibility of investors to manage U.S. equity exposure through a fully modular product set, as the Top 200 index family combined with the Russell Midcap index family are equivalent to the Russell 1000 universe."

The Russell Top 200® Growth Index measures the performance of the largest 200 stocks in the U.S. equity universe, as measured by market cap, that exhibit growth characteristics. It includes Russell Top 200 Index companies with higher price-to-book ratios and higher forecasted growth values. The stocks also are members of the Russell 1000® Growth Index.

The Russell Top 200® Value Index measures the performance of the largest 200 stocks in the U.S. equity universe, as measured by market cap, that exhibit value characteristics. It includes Russell Top 200 companies with lower price-to-book ratios and lower forecasted growth values. The stocks also are members of the Russell 1000® Value Index.

The above iShares Funds are index funds that are bought and sold like common stocks on securities exchanges, and like common stocks, they are subject to investment risk and fluctuation in market value. The iShares Funds are intended to provide relative low cost, tax efficiency and trading flexibility to individual and institutional investors and financial intermediaries. However, trading in these funds may result in commissions or other costs that could offset any such savings. 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.

About Barclays Global Investors/iShares

Barclays Global Investors is one of the world's largest asset managers and a leading global provider of investment management products and services. BGI has more than 2,900 institutional clients and US$1.7 trillion of assets under management as of June 30, 2009. 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 380 funds globally across equities, fixed income and commodities, which trade on 16 exchanges worldwide. 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.

About Russell

Russell Investments provides strategic advice, world-class implementation, state-of-the-art performance benchmarks and a range of institutional-quality investment products. Russell has $136 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2009, and serves individual, institutional and advisor clients in more than 40 countries. Russell Indexes have $4 trillion in assets benchmarked to them as of June 30, 2008. Founded in 1936, Russell is a subsidiary of The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company.

Call 1-800-iShares to request a prospectus, which includes investment objectives, risks, fees, expenses and other information that you should read and consider carefully before investing.

Investing involves risks, 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 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.

The iShares Funds are not sponsored, endorsed, issued, sold or promoted by Frank Russell Company. This company does not make any representation regarding the advisability of investing in the Funds. Neither SEI nor Barclays Global Investors, nor any of their affiliates, are affiliated with the company listed above.

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

©2009 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.

(1) Source: Morgan Stanley Investment Strategies and Bloomberg as of 6/30/2009. Based on number of ETFs, AUM, and market share.