SOURCE: Barclays Global Investors

Barclays Global Investors

June 19, 2009 09:40 ET

iShares Launches New Emerging Markets Infrastructure ETF

Emerging Markets Lead ETF Net Inflows Says iShares

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - June 19, 2009) - iShares, the world's largest exchange traded funds (ETFs) provider(1), today announced the start of trading of the iShares S&P Emerging Markets Infrastructure Index Fund (NASDAQ: EMIF). The launch occurs at a time when ETF net flows have been dominated by emerging markets ETFs. In May, emerging market ETFs' net flows captured approximately $6 billion of the total $14.9 billion in ETF net flows(2).

"Infrastructure is a rapidly growing investment theme that investors want to access. Global infrastructure spending is estimated to be $35 trillion(3) in the next two decades due to a particular strain and need for infrastructure investment in the emerging economies," said Michael Latham, iShares co-CEO. "Inflows of net new assets into iShares emerging markets ETFs have been strong all year, indicating a steady renewed appetite for opportunities outside of developed markets."

Key net flow figures include:

--  The ETFs with the highest net inflows in May were(4):
    -- iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund (EWZ) with $1.5 billion
       in net new assets,
    -- iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund (EEM) with $1.08
       billion in net new assets,
    -- iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index Fund (FXI) with $1.02
       billion in net inflows.
--  iShares has received 65% of all ETF and mutual fund emerging
    markets net inflows year-to-date as of the end of April(5).
--  Trading volumes in the iShares emerging markets funds have also
    been strong with more than 16 billion shares traded in 2009
    (Jan-May), a 119% increase compared with the same period
    last year(6).

Latham said, "We estimate that iShares emerging market net flows came equally from institutional investors and financial advisors. Institutional investors are taking advantage tactically of market opportunities within difficult-to-access markets or strategically increasing their emerging markets allocation as they recognize that developing markets represent a significant portion of the world's market cap. Some vehicles that they previously used to access this market, such as swaps, are costly and difficult to get in and out of, so institutional investors are using ETFs more to gain liquidity and trading flexibility."

He continued: "On the retail side, financial advisors are investing in emerging market iShares Funds to access assets that have low historical correlations with equity and fixed income to further diversify their clients' portfolios over the long term. In addition, the currency exposure between the U.S. and emerging markets provides an additional layer of diversification benefits."

"Strong inflows into emerging markets iShares ETFs versus emerging markets mutual funds seems to be evidence that investors are demanding highly liquid investment products that are transparent in costs, holdings and product structure. We expect that these will continue to be strong themes in 2009."

iShares S&P Emerging Markets Infrastructure Index Fund

The fund, with an annual expense ratio of 0.75%, is designed to track the S&P Emerging Markets Infrastructure Index, which includes 30 of the largest publicly listed companies in the infrastructure industry and with majority of revenues derived from emerging market operations. The index includes three sub-sectors: energy, transportation and utilities. As of May 29, 2009, the index was comprised of companies in the following markets: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Malaysia, Mexico, South Korea and the United Arab Emigrates. As of May 29, 2009, each of the underlying constituents had a minimum market capitalization of $250 million.

About Barclays Global Investors/iShares

Barclays Global Investors is one of the world's largest asset managers and a leading global provider of investment management products and services with more than 3,000 institutional clients and US$1.5 trillion of assets under management as of December 31, 2008. BGI transformed the investment industry by creating the first index strategy in 1971 and the first quantitative active strategy in 1979. BGI is the global product leader in exchange traded funds (iShares) with over 360 funds globally across equities, fixed income and commodities which trade on 18 exchanges worldwide. 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 or by visiting www.ishares.com. Read the prospectus carefully before investing.

Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. Transactions in shares of the iShares Funds will result in brokerage commissions. 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. 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. Diversification may not protect against market risk.

The iShares Funds ("Funds") are distributed by SEI Investments Distribution Co. (SEI). Barclays Global Fund Advisors (BGFA) serves as the investment advisor to the Funds. Barclays Global Investors Services (BGIS) and Barclays Global Investors Fund Distribution Company (BGIFDC) assist in the marketing of the Funds. BGFA, BGIS, and BGIFDC are affiliates of Barclays Global Investors, N.A., a majority-owned subsidiary of Barclays Bank PLC, none of which is affiliated with SEI.

The iShares Funds are not sponsored, endorsed, issued, sold or promoted by FTSE/Xinhua Index Limited ("FXI"), MSCI Inc., or Standard & Poor's. None of these companies make any representation regarding the advisability of investing in the Funds. Neither SEI nor Barclays Global Investors, nor any of their affiliates, are affiliated with the companies listed above.

FXI does not make any warranty regarding the FTSE/Xinhua Index. All rights in the FTSE/Xinhua Index vest in FXI. "FTSE" is a trade- and servicemark of London Stock Exchange and The Financial Times Limited; "Xinhua" is a trade- and servicemark of Xinhua Financial Network Limited.

©2009 Barclays Global Investors, N.A. All rights reserved. iShares® is a registered trademark of Barclays Global Investors, N.A. All other trademarks, servicemarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

(1) Source: Morgan Stanley Investment Strategies and Bloomberg as of
    12/31/2008. Based on number of ETFs, AUM, and market share.
(2) Source: FRC, Bloomberg, BGI.
(3) Source: CIBC World Markets, "Capitalizing on the Upcoming
    Infrastructure Stimulus," 1/26/09.
(4) Source: Bloomberg, FactSet and BGI using May 31st data.
(5) Source: Strategic Insight
(6) Source: Arcavision.com