News Column

iShares Expands its Factor ETF Offering

February 26, 2014

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- iShares, the Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) business of BlackRock (NYSE: BLK), is expanding its factor ETF line-up with the launch tomorrow of two iShares Enhanced International ETFs. The iShares Enhanced International Large-Cap ETF (NYSEArca: IEIL) and iShares Enhanced International Small-Cap ETF (NYSEArca: IEIS) seek to provide investors with long-term capital appreciation and are managed using BlackRock research rather than tracking an index.

The new iShares ETFs complement two iShares U.S. Enhanced ETFs that were launched in April 2013. They are similar to the iShares U.S. Enhanced ETFs in that they too were designed in partnership with Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) who want access to multiple factors – quality, value and size – packaged in an iShares ETF to help them manage equity exposures and risk. The iShares Enhanced ETFs seek to provide competitive risk-adjusted returns compared to the broad large-cap or small-cap market.

Patrick Dunne, Head of iShares Global Markets and Investments, commented:

“Factor investing has become increasingly popular as investors look for opportunities to potentially outperform the market over the long-term. We’ve had a positive response from investors on the entire iShares Factor ETF suite, which currently has over $7.3 billion in assets under management (AUM) at February 21, 2014.

“The new iShares Enhanced International ETFs combine well-known factors and provide investors with easy access to multi-factor strategies based on BlackRock’s insights. They are of interest to investors who prefer a blending of factors in a single ETF to effectively maximize diversification and manage risk.”

Factors are a set of investment characteristics which explain the risk and return behavior of an asset or stock. Every asset has a unique set of factor exposures -- such as quality, value, size and momentum -- that influence the asset’s return. Factor investing is a well-documented, differentiated approach to traditional market-capitalization investing. iShares currently offers a suite of factor products: four iShares MSCI USA Factor ETFs that focus on single factors, four iShares Minimum Volatility ETFs that concentrate on volatility reduction and, with the launch today, four iShares Enhanced ETFs that provide multi-factor strategies.

About BlackRock

BlackRock is a leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients worldwide. At December 31, 2013, BlackRock’s AUM was $4.324 trillion. BlackRock helps clients meet their goals and overcome challenges with a range of products that include 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, 2013, the firm had approximately 11,400 employees in more than 30 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 a 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 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 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. 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. There can be no assurance that an active trading market for shares of an ETF will develop or be maintained. Diversification may not protect against market risk or loss of principal.

The Funds do not seek to replicate the performance of a specified index. The Funds may have a higher portfolio turnover than funds that seek to replicate the performance of an index. The Funds seek to provide exposure to large- and small-capitalization stocks that emphasize certain quantitative investment characteristics (“factors”), including, but not limited to, cash earnings, earnings variability, leverage, price-to-book ratio and market capitalization. There can be no assurance that exposure to such investment factors will enhance the Funds’ performance over time. It is expected that exposure to such investment factors will detract from performance in some market environments, perhaps for extended periods. In such circumstances, the Funds’ investment process will seek to maintain exposure to the targeted investment factors and will not adjust to target different factors. Small-capitalization companies may be less stable and more susceptible to adverse developments, and their securities may be more volatile and less liquid than larger capitalization companies.

International investing involves risks, including risks related to foreign currency, limited liquidity, less government regulation and the possibility of substantial volatility due to adverse political, economic or other developments.

The iShares Funds are distributed by BlackRock Investments, LLC (together with its affiliates, “BlackRock”).

© 2014 BlackRock. All rights reserved. iSHARES and BLACKROCKare registered and unregistered trademarks of BlackRock. All other marks are those of their respective owners.




BlackRock, Inc.

Christine Hudacko, 415-670-2687

Christine.Hudacko@blackrock.com

Melissa Garville, 212-810-5528

Melissa.garville@blackrock.com

Source: iShares


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