BlackRock Asset Management Canada Limited (iShares)
TSX : XMV
TSX : XMU
TSX : XMI
TSX : XMM
TSX : XMW

BlackRock Asset Management Canada Limited (iShares)

July 30, 2012 07:15 ET

BlackRock® Canada Launches a New Suite of Minimum Volatility iShares® ETFs Delivering Domestic, International, Developed and Emerging Market Exposure Opportunities

1st suite of its kind in Canada that offers investors variety in minimum volatility investment exposures

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 30, 2012) - BlackRock Asset Management Canada Limited (BlackRock Canada), an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of BlackRock, Inc., today announced that its iShares business is launching a suite of minimum volatility exchange traded funds (ETFs) to the Canadian marketplace. This is the first time investors in Canada have access to the full broad market suite of minimum volatility ETFs including Canada, U.S., developed international, global and emerging markets. All five of the iShares ETFs will begin trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange today.

"With the uncertainty in today's markets, investors want to capture potential market upside but still protect their assets," said Mary Anne Wiley, Managing Director, Head of iShares, BlackRock Canada. "To help investors get off the sidelines, we have introduced the new iShares Minimum Volatility Funds which offer investors a unique opportunity to retain equity exposure in their portfolio while seeking to reduce the overall equity risk in these turbulent times. It's a compelling option for investors looking for a contrast or complement to other portfolio management strategies and will also optimize risk-adjusted returns over the long term."

This new offering is in direct response to investor demand and extends iShares current line-up of market-cap and fundamentally-weighted broad market product suites. The new iShares Minimum Volatility Funds can help investors reduce overall portfolio risk while retaining exposure to the equity marketplace. These funds optimize risk adjusted returns over the long term and recent studies have shown that, historically, minimum volatility portfolios have performed equally well, if not better, than the market while potentially lowering risk. While the typical market portfolio seeks to balance risk by including exposures to higher and lower risk equities, minimum volatility ETFs seek to provide steady performance that helps insulate against spikes in returns.

The new ETFs are:
iShares MSCI Canada Minimum Volatility Index Fund (XMV)
iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility Index Fund (XMU)
iShares MSCI EAFE Minimum Volatility Index Fund (XMI)
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Minimum Volatility Index Fund (XMM)
iShares MSCI All Country World Minimum Volatility Index Fund (XMW)

The ETFs track minimum volatility indexes created by MSCI. These indexes are constructed by optimizing the respective parent MSCI indexes, which are capitalization-weighted, by determining weights for securities in the indexes that result in portfolios with the lowest total risk. Index constraints such as country, sector and style exposures are applied to the optimization to ensure diversification and investability, while broadly matching the profile of the corresponding cap-weighted MSCI index. The new funds can help provide a portfolio with downside protection while seeking to maintain some exposure to the upside price movement.

"Minimum volatility ETFs are not just a tool to help shield investors from wild market swings, they can be used as a holding strategy in order to generate steady long-term growth," said Oliver McMahon, Head of iShares Product Management at BlackRock Canada. "In general, we expect our suite of minimum volatility funds to deliver similar total returns to the underlying marketplace, but with lower volatility along the way. This suite of products is another innovative option within our family that increases investor's flexibility and choice."

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 June 30, 2012, BlackRock's AUM was $3.560 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 June 30, 2012, the firm has approximately 9,900 employees in 27 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

iShares is the global product leader in exchange traded funds with over 500 funds globally across equities, fixed income and commodities, which trade on 20 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 shares 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 and high net worth individuals.

iShares® Funds are managed by BlackRock Asset Management Canada Limited and BlackRock Investments Canada Inc. Commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with investing in iShares Funds. Please read the relevant prospectus before investing. The indicated rates of return are the historical annual compounded total returns including changes in unit value and reinvestment of all distributions and do not take into account sales, redemption, distribution or operational charges or income taxes payable by any securityholder that would have reduced returns. The ETFs are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional.

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