SOURCE: BlackRock, Inc.

BlackRock, Inc.

March 30, 2011 17:47 ET

iShares Launches a High Dividend Equity Exchange Traded Fund

The New Fund Responds to Investors' Desire for Income-Oriented Products

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - March 30, 2011) -   BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE: BLK) today announced that its iShares® Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) business, the world's largest manager of ETFs, is scheduled to launch the iShares High Dividend Equity Fund (NYSE Arca: HDV) on the NYSE Arca on March 31, 2011. The new fund provides exposure to high quality income-producing U.S. securities. iShares offers a broad and modular suite of income-focused ETFs, allowing investors to implement dividend investing strategies using diversified and cost-effective vehicles. iShares launched the first US-listed dividend ETF (NYSE Arca: DVY) in 2003.

"Income is in high demand, yet continues to be hard to come by from traditional sources in a cost-effective, diversified, flexible trading manner," said Noel Archard, Head of US Product at iShares at Blackrock. "A basket of high dividend yielding equities can often provide investors with several benefits such as the potential for enhanced total return (especially in uncertain market environments), possible reduced volatility as compared to more growth-oriented stocks, and greater inflation protection than bonds through the ability to provide capital appreciation."

The fund is benchmarked to the Morningstar Dividend Yield Focus Index, which provides access to U.S. equity securities issued by companies that have provided relatively high dividend yields on a consistent basis. Morningstar's proprietary index methodology screens U.S. companies for superior company quality and financial health based on the Morningstar's Economic Moat™ rating system and the Morningstar Distance to Default measure. Economic moat describes the sustainability of a company's future economic profits, and distance to default measures the likelihood that a company may encounter financial distress1. The index provides access to the top 75 companies by dividend yield that meet the eligibility criteria. The top three sectors in the index as of 2/28/11 are Consumer Goods (19.8%), Healthcare (19.1%) and Utilities (17.1%).

About BlackRock
BlackRock is a leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients worldwide. At December 31, 2010, BlackRock's AUM was $3.561 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 December 31, 2010, the firm has approximately 9,100 employees in 25 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, narrowly focused investments typically exhibit higher volatility. There is no guarantee that dividends will be paid.

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.

Morningstar(r) is a servicemark of Morningstar, Inc., and has been licensed for use by BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A. The iShares Funds are not sponsored, endorsed, issued, sold or promoted by Morningstar, 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.

©2011 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-4468-0311

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

1 Morningstar 2011