BlackRock Asset Management Canada Limited (iShares)
TSX : XPF

BlackRock Asset Management Canada Limited (iShares)

November 22, 2010 08:20 ET

BlackRock® Canada Launches the iShares® S&P®/TSX® North American Preferred Stock Index Fund (CAD-Hedged)

ETF to Invest in U.S. and Canadian Securities

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 22, 2010) - BlackRock Asset Management Canada Limited (BlackRock Canada), an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of BlackRock, Inc., today announced that iShares, the world's largest provider of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), is now providing investors with a new income-oriented product, featuring a consistent distribution schedule, with the launch of the iShares S&P/TSX North American Preferred Stock Index Fund (CAD-Hedged) (TSX:XPF). XPF will begin trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange today.

XPF will provide investors with geographically diversified exposure to preferred shares by investing a portion of its assets in U.S. preferred shares and a portion in Canadian preferred shares. Preferred stock is an asset class that combines some characteristics of both equity and debt securities and generally makes regular payments to investors. XPF will hedge its currency exposure to the U.S. dollar, and carry a management fee of 0.45% per year.

"Preferred stock generally has higher yields than common stock, the bond market and the money market, but is less risky than equity, making XPF a useful asset for boosting income in a risk-controlled fashion," said Oliver McMahon, Director of Product Management for iShares ETFs at BlackRock Canada.

"XPF offers all the benefits that investors have come to expect from iShares ETFs, including reasonable management fees, full intra-day trading capability, and the power of the iShares ETFs' unique and trusted product engineering."

The S&P/TSX North American Preferred Stock Canadian Dollar Hedged Index (Index), which is the underlying index for XPF, currently includes 226 U.S. securities and 119 Canadian securities for a total of 345 securities (as of Oct 31, 2010). Combining the two markets allows investors to take advantage of the breadth of the U.S. preferred share market, which also currently yields significantly more than the Canadian market, while maintaining the benefits of Canadian preferred stock exposure. This approach also results in a better diversified portfolio and lower single-issuer risk, as the Canadian preferred share market is relatively small and concentrated when compared to the U.S. XPF will hold a U.S. iShares Fund to represent the U.S. portion of the Index, and hedge U.S. dollar currency exposure.

For more information about the new iShares funds, please visit www.iShares.ca. All other inquiries: 1-866-iShares (1-866-474-2737) or email iSharesCanada@blackrock.com.

About BlackRock

BlackRock is a leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients worldwide. At September 30, 2010, BlackRock's AUM was $3.446 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 September 30, 2010, the firm has approximately 8,900 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 ETFs

The iShares business is a global product leader in ETFs with over 410 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 securities 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.

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