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Press release from Business Wire

iShares to Launch Core Series ETFs for Long-Term Buy-and-Hold Investors

<p class='bwalignc'> <b>Major New Brand Initiative Highlights Why Professional Investors Choose iShares for their ETFs</b> </p> <p class='bwalignc'> <b>iShares and BlackRock Integrate U.S. Retail Sales Teams, Greatly Expanding iShares Reach</b> </p>

Monday, October 15, 2012

iShares to Launch Core Series ETFs for Long-Term Buy-and-Hold Investors15:45 EDT Monday, October 15, 2012 NEW YORK (Business Wire) -- BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE: BLK) announced today that its iShares Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) business, the world's largest manager of ETFs1, is launching a series of initiatives to enhance the value proposition it delivers to investors both in the U.S. and globally. These initiatives include: Creating the iShares Core Series, a suite of 10 U.S. ETFs designed for the needs of long-term, buy-and-hold investors that combines competitive pricing with diversified, tax-efficient products using premier index providers. Launching a major, multi-pronged global brand initiative which recognizes that every investor is unique and communicates the advantages of using the products that eight out of 10 large professional investors choose for their ETFs2. Integrating the iShares and BlackRock U.S. retail sales teams, creating the largest retail field force in the U.S. asset management industry, to offer financial advisors and distribution partners a fully integrated combination of index and active products and solutions for today's investors. Mark Wiedman, Managing Director and Global Head of iShares, said, “As we look to build on our market-leading position3 in the ETF industry, we are taking a number of steps to further bolster our value proposition for investors, with an initial focus on the United States. The combination of our iShares Core Series targeting buy-and-hold investors and a campaign to refresh the powerful iShares brand – supported by what will now be the industry's largest U.S. retail sales force – are key components of our broader plan to drive even stronger growth in the U.S. and globally.” iShares is a global leader in ETFs and has attracted $50 billion in net new assets year to date, as of Sept. 30, more than any other provider. iShares Core Series –Tax Efficiency, Competitive Pricing and a Diversified Portfolio The iShares Core Series is a suite of products offering a competitively priced, diversified, tax-efficient family of ETFs that investors can use as building blocks for the heart of their portfolios in domestic and international equities and U.S. fixed income. Designed to fit together to provide broad equity and fixed-income exposure, the series allows long-term investors to tailor the mix of funds to match their individual choice. Composed of four new and six existing funds, this is the first series of iShares ETFs designed specifically with long-term buy-and-hold investors in mind and is backed by the world-class analytics and global investment insight of BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager4. The suite can be supplemented with iShares solutions from a broad selection of ETFs for investors seeking to address more specific needs, from earning income in retirement to capitalizing on market opportunities in the shorter-term. The iShares Core Series comprises the following funds: U.S. Equities iShares Core S&P Total U.S. Stock Market ETF <ITOT> (previously <ISI>) iShares Core S&P 500 ETF <IVV> iShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF <IJH> iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF <IJR> International Equities iShares Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF** <IXUS> iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF**<IEMG> iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF** <IEFA> U.S. Fixed Income iShares Core Total U.S. Bond Market ETF <AGG> iShares Core Long-Term U.S. Bond ETF <ILTB>* (previously <GLJ>) iShares Core Short-Term U.S. Bond ETF** <ISTB> *Beginning on or around Tuesday, October 23, 2012, <ILTB> will track a new underlying index, the Barclays US Long Government/Credit Bond Index and will cease to track the B of A Merrill Lynch 10+ Year US Corporate & Government Index. **These Funds are expected to begin trading on or about October 22, 2012 Mr. Wiedman commented: “As more and more investors turn to ETFs5 for the diversification and exposures they seek in the core of their portfolios, we saw the opportunity to offer a cost-effective suite of funds that still provide the same professional quality you expect from iShares. We believe that every investor is unique, and with the iShares Core Series, investors have the opportunity to match their large, long-term core holdings to their individual needs and still have the flexibility to complement them with more specialized ETFs that suit their specific objectives.” All three iShares Core international equity ETFs track segments of the flagship MSCI Investable Market Index (IMI), providing investors access to some of broadest exposure available in the global equity universe today. Mr. Wiedman said: “MSCI is the predominant choice of professional investors and we're pleased to deepen our relationship with them through the introduction of these new products using their indexes to help deliver high quality portfolio construction to all investors small and large.” iShares Brand Initiative: Professional Quality, Individual Choice, Responsible Innovation The new multi-pronged iShares brand initiative focuses on the unique needs of individuals in an uncertain, volatile and complex New World of Investing, where many opportunities still exist and portfolios need to be diversified and dynamic as these times require. The initiative comes to life by exploring the goals and aspirations of individual investors, with their unique needs and objectives, met by iShares. The brand initiative will launch starting tomorrow in the U.S. and roll out in Canada, the U.K., Germany and the Netherlands later this month. It encompasses digital, TV and print advertising, thought leadership and insight, tools and support for investors and financial advisors. In 2013, this campaign will continue to roll out globally. Commenting on the iShares brand initiative, Mr. Wiedman continued: “No one size fits all in today's New World of Investing and our initiative puts the ‘i' in investing, where it belongs. These times require professional quality, matched to individual choice and a partner like iShares who is committed to making investing clear, fair and efficient for everyone.” BlackRock has more than 40 years of indexing history – the longest of any provider – and an established record of responsible innovation, including the introduction of the first fixed income and emerging markets ETFs. Integration Creates Largest U.S. Sales Force in Industry The integration of the iShares U.S. retail sales team with the BlackRock U.S. retail sales force will take place over the coming months and create a team of approximately 275 professionals, providing significant additional support to the continuing growth of both the iShares and BlackRock retail platforms. The new model will retain dedicated iShares specialists who have the deep knowledge and expertise to assist financial advisors and their clients with their ETF needs. The combined team will now be positioned to offer financial advisors and distribution partners a full range of index and active solutions that investors increasingly are looking for in today's market environment. This includes offering model portfolios that combine index and active strategies to help investors create their own optimal asset allocations through solutions such as target income, hedged risk income and strategic and tactical equity models. Robert Fairbairn, Senior Managing Director and Global Head of BlackRock's Retail and iShares businesses said: “Integrating our iShares and BlackRock retail sales teams will create the largest field force in the industry and allows us to even more effectively serve our clients by offering them BlackRock's full range of index and active products that no other firm can match. This will be particularly effective in supporting the iShares Core Series and our model portfolios that offer investors the same asset allocation expertise and sophisticated risk management that many of the world's biggest pension funds and corporations rely on.” About BlackRock BlackRock is a leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients worldwide. At June 30, 2012, BlackRock's AUM was $3.560 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, 2012, the firm has approximately 9,900 employees in 27 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 600 funds globally across equities, fixed income and commodities, which trade on 20 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. A prospectus has been filed for the funds and has been declared effective, however not all of the funds are available yet for trading. Carefully consider the iShares 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.The iShares Funds are distributed by BlackRock Investments, LLC (together with its affiliates, “BlackRock”). 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. Investments in smaller companies typically exhibit higher volatility. Bonds and bond funds will decrease in value as interest rates rise. Diversification is no guarantee against market loss.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.Diversification may not protect against market risk or loss of principal.BlackRock does not provide tax advice. Please note that (i) any discussion of U.S. tax matters contained in this communication cannot be used by you for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties; (ii) this communication was written to support the promotion or marketing of the matters addressed herein; and (iii) you should seek advice based on your particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor. The iShares Funds are not sponsored, endorsed, issued, sold or promoted MSCI Inc., nor are they sponsored, endorsed or issued by Barclays Capital Inc. None of these companies make any representation regarding the advisability of investing in the Funds. BlackRock is not affiliated with the companies listed above. 1 BlackRock ETP Landscape Report – September 2012 2 2012 Greenwich Associates - U.S. ETF Research 3 BlackRock ETP Landscape Report, referencing iShares market share – September 2012 4 Institutional Investor, July 2012 5 Bloomberg and Morningstar, as of December 31, 2011 Exposure   Fund name   Ticker   Expense ratio   Benchmark   Exchange   AUM $B   Notes                         (9/30/12)     U.S. Equity   iShares Core S&P Total U.S. Stock Market ETF   ITOT   0.07%   S&P Composite 1500   NYSEArca   0.4   Formerly Ticker: ISI New price/name/ticker effective: 10/17/12 U.S. Equity   iShares Core S&P 500 ETF   IVV   0.07%   S&P 500   NYSEArca   31.8   New price/name effective: 10/17/12 U.S. Equity   iShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF   IJH   0.15%   S&P MidCap 400   NYSEArca   12.3   New price/name effective: 10/17/12 U.S. Equity   iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF   IJR   0.16%   S&P SmallCap 600   NYSEArca   8   New price/name effective: 10/17/12                                             International Equity   iShares Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF   IXUS   0.16%   MSCI ACWI ex USA Investable Market Index (IMI)   NYSEArca   n/a   NEW FUND Scheduled to begin trading on: 10/22/12 International Equity   iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF   IEMG   0.18%   MSCI Emerging Markets Investable Market Index (IMI)   NYSEArca   n/a   NEW FUND Scheduled to begin trading on: 10/22/12 International Equity   iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF   IEFA   0.14%   MSCI EAFE Investable Market Index (IMI)   NYSEArca   n/a   NEW FUND Scheduled to begin trading on: 10/22/12                                 U.S. Fixed Income   iShares Core Total U.S. Bond Market ETF   AGG   0.08%   Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index   NYSEArca   15.7   New price/name effective: 10/17/12 U.S. Fixed Income   iShares Core Long-Term U.S. Bond ETF   ILTB   0.12%   Barclays U.S. Long Government/Credit Bond Index   NYSEArca   0.2   Formerly Ticker: GLJ New price/name/ticker effective: 10/17/12 New benchmark effective:10/23/12 U.S. Fixed Income   iShares Core Short-Term U.S. Bond ETF   ISTB   0.12%   Barclays U.S. 1-5 Year Government/Credit Bond Index   NYSEArca   n/a   NEW FUND Scheduled to begin trading on: 10/22/12 BlackRock, Inc.Mark Lake, 212-810-3970Mark.Lake@blackrock.comorCaroline Hancock, +44 207 743 2103Caroline.Hancock@blackrock.comorChristine Hudacko, 415-670-2687Christine.Hudacko@blackrock.com