SOURCE: BlackRock, Inc.

May 20, 2011 09:40 ET

iShares Announces Launch of Two New Inflation-Linked Bond Funds

iShares Introduces the First Global Inflation-Linked ETF

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - May 20, 2011) - BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE: BLK) today announced that its iShares® Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) business, the world's largest manager of ETFs, has launched two new inflation-linked funds on the NYSE Arca. The new funds are the iShares Global Inflation-Linked Bond Fund (NYSE Arca: GTIP) and the iShares International Inflation-Linked Bond Fund (NYSE Arca: ITIP). GTIP and ITIP join the iShares Barclays TIPS Bond Fund (TIP) -- the first TIPS ETF to come to market -- and the more recently launched iShares Barclays 0-5 Year TIPS Bond Fund (STIP) on the iShares product line. In total, the four funds provide investors the ability to access inflation-linked bonds in the US as well as those from foreign countries.

"Just as investors use US TIPS to help protect domestic portfolios against inflation, they should consider using global inflation-linked bonds to help protect their global portfolios," said Matthew Tucker, iShares Head of Fixed Income Investment Strategy at BlackRock. "A global investment approach requires a global inflation solution."

"Inflation-linked bonds from foreign countries operate much like US TIPS," said Matt Tucker. "While the calculation for adjusting principal and interest varies between countries, the concept is the same: the bonds are indexed to local consumer price indexes in order to help protect investors from the negative effects of inflation."

"Global inflation may be an increasingly important part of portfolio construction going forward, as recent monetary policy raises the risk of inflation abroad," said Russ Koesterich, iShares Chief Investment Strategist at BlackRock. "Countries to watch include the US, UK, Canada, and Australia in the developed world and China, India and Brazil in the emerging markets."

GTIP is benchmarked to the BofA Merrill Lynch Global Diversified Inflation-Linked Index, and is the first of its kind in the exchange traded fund marketplace. The fund provides one-stop-shop access to global inflation-linked bonds. It includes exposure to the US, the UK, France, Italy and Brazil.

ITIP is benchmarked to the BofA Merrill Lynch Global ex-US Diversified Inflation-Linked Index. The fund does not include exposure to the US, but rather sizeable allocations to the UK, France, Italy, Australia and Brazil, among other countries. It can be paired with iShares Barclays TIPS Bond Fund (TIP) as part of a global inflation-linked bond strategy.

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 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. At March 31, 2011, BlackRock's AUM was $3.648 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 March 31, 2011, the firm has approximately 9,300 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.

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.

Bonds and bond funds will decrease in value as interest rates rise. TIPS can provide investors a hedge against inflation, as the inflation adjustment feature helps preserve the purchasing power of the investment. Because of this inflation adjustment feature, inflation protected bonds typically have lower yields than conventional fixed rate bonds and will likely decline in price during periods of deflation, which could result in losses. Government backing applies only to government issued securities, not iShares exchange traded funds.

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 and are subject to greater geographic or asset class risk. The Funds may be subject to credit risk, which refers to the possibility that the debt issuers will not be able to make principal and interest payments. The Fund's income may decline due to a decline in inflation (or deflation) or due to changes in inflation expectations.

The strategies discussed are strictly for illustrative and educational purposes and should not be construed as a recommendation to purchase or sell, or an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security. There is no guarantee that any strategies discussed will be effective.

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") and BlackRock Execution Services ("BES") assist in the marketing of the Funds. BFA, BFDC and BES are affiliates of BlackRock, Inc., none of which is affiliated with SEI.

BofA Merrill Lynch® is a servicemark of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated and/or its affiliates, and is licensed for use for certain purposes by BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A. iShares Funds are not sponsored, endorsed, issued, sold or promoted by BofA Merrill Lynch. Nor does this company make any representation regarding the advisability of investing in iShares 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