SOURCE: BlackRock, Inc.

BlackRock, Inc.

August 18, 2011 09:32 ET

iShares Announces Launch of Emerging Markets Small Cap Fund

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Aug 18, 2011) - BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE: BLK) today announced that its iShares® Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) business, the world's largest manager of ETFs, has launched the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Small Cap Index Fund (NYSE Arca: EEMS). By adding the new iShares ETF, iShares complements its robust emerging market product suite and enables investors access to the next generation of emerging market growth.

"In the long-term, investors can look to emerging market small cap stocks as the driver of the next wave of emerging market growth," said Russ Koesterich, iShares Global Chief Investment Strategist at BlackRock. "In the short-term, emerging markets may be more defensively positioned than conventional wisdom might suggest."

"Because emerging market small cap stocks offer greater exposure to local consumer sectors --and those sectors are more tied to domestic demand than foreign demand -- they should be better insulated from issues facing developed markets today," said Koesterich.

Noel Archard, Head of US iShares Product at BlackRock, said, "With the new iShares Emerging Markets Small Cap ETF investors can efficiently access the next generation of small cap companies with 100% local exposure. By combining the new iShares Emerging Markets Small Cap ETF with the broadly diversified iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF, investors can gain access to 100% of the investable emerging market universe with no overlap in core holdings."

The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Small Cap Index Fund is benchmarked to the MSCI Emerging Markets Small Cap Index, which is generally seen as the institutional index standard. It is a float-adjusted market cap weighted index that is rebalanced quarterly. The index's top three country holdings as of July 31, 2011, are Taiwan (19.86%), Korea (17.35%) and China (16.46%). The top three country sector exposure weightings are consumer discretionary (17.09%), industrials (16.90%) and financials (16.59%).

About BlackRock
BlackRock is a leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for
institutional and retail clients worldwide. At June 30, 2011, BlackRock's AUM was $3.659 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, 2011, the firm has approximately 9,700 employees in 26 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
iShares is the global product leader in exchange traded funds with over 460 funds globally across equities, fixed income and commodities, which trade on 19 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.

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 (1-800-474-2737) 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 and investments in smaller companies typically exhibit higher volatility. Diversification may not protect against market risk.

This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events or a guarantee of future results. This information should not be relied upon by the reader as research or investment advice regarding the funds or any security in particular.

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 ("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.

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.

* Not FDIC Insured * No Bank Guarantee * May Lose Value