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

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

   Major New Brand Initiative Highlights Why Professional Investors Choose
                            iShares for their ETFs

  iShares and BlackRock Integrate U.S. Retail Sales Teams, Greatly Expanding
                                iShares Reach

Business Wire

NEW YORK -- October 15, 2012

BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE: BLK) announced today that its iShares Exchange Traded
Funds (ETFs) business, the world’s largest manager of ETFs^1, 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 ETFs^2.
  *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 position^3 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 manager^4. 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 ETFs^5 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  Benchmark          Exchange  AUM $B     Notes
                                         ratio
                                                                      (9/30/12)  
                                                                                              Formerly Ticker:
                iShares Core                                                                  ISI
                S&P Total                          S&P Composite
U.S. Equity    U.S. Stock     ITOT    0.07%    1500               NYSEArca  0.4        New
                Market ETF                                                                    price/name/ticker
                                                                                              effective:
                                                                                              10/17/12
                iShares Core                                                                  New price/name
U.S. Equity    S&P 500 ETF    IVV     0.07%    S&P 500            NYSEArca  31.8       effective:
                                                                                              10/17/12
                iShares Core                                                                  New price/name
U.S. Equity    S&P Mid-Cap    IJH     0.15%    S&P MidCap 400     NYSEArca  12.3       effective:
                ETF                                                                           10/17/12
                iShares Core                                                                  New price/name
U.S. Equity    S&P Small-Cap  IJR     0.16%    S&P SmallCap 600   NYSEArca  8          effective:
                ETF                                                                           10/17/12
                                                                                      
                                                                                
                iShares Core                                                                  NEW FUND
International   MSCI Total                         MSCI ACWI ex USA
Equity         International  IXUS    0.16%    Investable Market  NYSEArca  n/a        Scheduled to begin
                Stock ETF                          Index (IMI)                                trading on:
                                                                                              10/22/12
                                                   MSCI Emerging                              NEW FUND
International   iShares Core                       Markets
Equity         MSCI Emerging  IEMG    0.18%    Investable Market  NYSEArca  n/a        Scheduled to begin
                Markets ETF                        Index (IMI)                                trading on:
                                                                                              10/22/12
                                                                                              NEW FUND
International   iShares Core                       MSCI EAFE
Equity         MSCI EAFE ETF  IEFA    0.14%    Investable Market  NYSEArca  n/a        Scheduled to begin
                                                   Index (IMI)                                trading on:
                                                                                              10/22/12
                                                                                              
                                                                                
                iShares Core                       Barclays U.S.                              New price/name
U.S. Fixed     Total U.S.     AGG     0.08%    Aggregate Bond     NYSEArca  15.7       effective:
Income          Bond Market                        Index                                      10/17/12
                ETF
                                                                                              Formerly Ticker:
                                                                                              GLJ

                iShares Core                       Barclays U.S.                              New
U.S. Fixed     Long-Term      ILTB    0.12%    Long               NYSEArca  0.2        price/name/ticker
Income          U.S. Bond ETF                      Government/Credit                          effective:
                                                   Bond Index                                 10/17/12

                                                                                              New benchmark
                                                                                              effective:10/23/12
                                                   Barclays U.S. 1-5                          NEW FUND
U.S. Fixed      iShares Core                       Year
Income         Short-Term     ISTB    0.12%    Government/Credit  NYSEArca  n/a        Scheduled to begin
                U.S. Bond ETF                      Bond Index                                 trading on:
                                                                                              10/22/12

Contact:

BlackRock, Inc.
Mark Lake, 212-810-3970
Mark.Lake@blackrock.com
or
Caroline Hancock, +44 207 743 2103
Caroline.Hancock@blackrock.com
or
Christine Hudacko, 415-670-2687
Christine.Hudacko@blackrock.com
 
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.