SOURCE: BlackRock, Inc.

BlackRock, Inc.

January 22, 2010 09:31 ET

iShares Announces Launch of Five iShares MSCI International Sector Funds

Funds to Help Enhance Investor Access to Sector Exposure Within Specific Regions

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - January 22, 2010) - iShares, a global leader in Exchange Traded Funds, announced that the iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Financials Sector Index Fund (AXFN), the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Financials Sector Index Fund (EMFN), the iShares MSCI Europe Financials Sector Index Fund (EUFN), the iShares MSCI Far East Financials Sector Index Fund (FEFN) and the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Materials Sector Index Fund (EMMT), will begin trading on NASDAQ today. The funds seek to provide more modularity and focus in expressing regional differences in sector performance.

"With the addition of these iShares MSCI International Sector Funds, individuals, financial professionals and institutions will now have access to one of the most comprehensive sector offerings, including U.S. sector/subsector, global sector, and now international sector ETFs," said Michael Latham, co-CEO of iShares at BlackRock. "We are excited to expand our international financial and materials sector fund offerings as it is an underserved segment of the market and one that continues to draw strong investor demand."

The use of MSCI indices provides useful building blocks within a larger MSCI-based international product set.

--  iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Financials Sector Index Fund expands the iShares
    sector offering, providing exposure to the financials sector of developed
    and emerging markets countries, excluding the United States. The Fund
    offers the only GICs-based financial sector classification that also
    includes emerging markets exposure. The top five country exposure of the
    index is UK 13%, Australia 10%, Canada 10%, Japan 9% and Spain 6%(1).
    
--  The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Financials Sector Index Fund expands
    the iShares sector offering, providing exposure to the financials sector of
    emerging market countries. The financials sector includes banks,
    diversified financial companies, insurance companies and real estate
    companies. The top five country exposure of the index is comprised of China
    28%, Brazil 14%, South Korea 10%, India 8% and Taiwan 8%(1).
    
--  iShares MSCI Europe Financials Sector Index Fund expands the iShares
    sector offering by providing exposure to the financials sector of developed
    market countries in Europe. The iShares sector offering is now more than 40
    domestic, global and international sector/subsector ETFs. The top five
    country exposure of the index is UK 29%, Spain 13%, France 13%, Switzerland
    12% and Germany 10%(1).
    
--  iShares MSCI Far East Financials Sector Index Fund expands the iShares
    sector offering, providing exposure to the financials sector of developed
    countries in the Far East region. The financials sector includes banks,
    diversified financial companies, insurance companies and real estate
    companies. The country breakdown of the index is Japan 63%, Hong Kong 26%
    and Singapore 12%(1).
    
--  iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Materials Sector Index Fund expands the
    iShares sector offering, providing exposure to the materials sector of
    emerging market countries. The materials sector includes chemical 
    companies, construction materials companies, containers and packaging
    companies, metals and mining companies and paper and forest product
    companies. The top five country breakdown of the index is Brazil 30%, South
    Africa 13%, South Korea 12%, Taiwan 10% and China 7%(1).
    
    (1)Source MSCI Inc., BlackRock as of 9/30/09.
    

About iShares:

iShares is the global product leader in exchange traded funds with over 400 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 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.

About BlackRock:

BlackRock is a leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients worldwide. With approximately $3.2 trillion under management as of September 30, 2009 (pro forma estimate of assets under management at BlackRock, Inc. and Barclays Global Investors), 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, the firm has over 8,500 employees in 24 countries. For additional information, please visit BlackRock's website at www.blackrock.com.

All Other US Inquiries:
1-800-iShares (1-800-474-2737)

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.

Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal.

In addition to the normal risks associated with investing, international investments may involve risk of capital loss from unfavorable fluctuation in currency values, from differences in generally accepted accounting principles or from economic or political instability in other nations. Emerging markets involve heightened risks related to the same factors as well as increased volatility and lower trading volume. Narrowly focused investments typically exhibit higher volatility.

Transactions in shares of the iShares Funds will result in brokerage commissions and 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 MSCI Inc. This company does not make any representation regarding the advisability of investing in the Funds. Neither SEI, nor BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A., nor any of their affiliates, are affiliated with the company listed above.

The iShares Funds ("Funds") are distributed by SEI Investments Distribution Co. ("SEI"). BlackRock Fund Advisors ("BFA") serves as the investment advisor to the Funds. BlackRock Fund Distribution Company ("BFDC") assists in the marketing of the Funds. BFA and BFDC are affiliates of BlackRock, Inc, none of which is affiliated with SEI.

©2010 BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A. iShares® is a registered trademark of BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A. All other trademarks, servicemarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners. iS-2147-0110

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