February 02, 2012 at 10:57 AM EST
iShares Launches Five Global Commodity Producer Equity ETFs

BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE: BLK) announced today that its iShares® Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) business, the world's largest manager of ETFs, has launched five funds focused on commodity producers. The funds offer the benefit of access to companies involved in the production of the commodity without exposure to physical storage or other costs associated with commodity ownership.

The new global equity-based funds, which are traded on the NYSE Arca, offer access to commodity producers, including the first equities-based solution to express a view on global energy prices. They are:

iShares MSCI Global Agriculture Producers Fund (NYSEArca: VEGI)
iShares MSCI Global Energy Producers Fund (NYSEArca: FILL)
iShares MSCI Global Select Metals & Mining Producers Fund (NYSEArca: PICK)
iShares MSCI Global Gold Miners Fund (NYSEArca: RING)
iShares MSCI Global Silver Miners Fund (NYSEArca: SLVP)

“Commodities are a key allocation in many portfolios, often used as portfolio diversifiers or a hedge against inflation,” said Darek Wojnar, Head of US iShares Product Development and Management at BlackRock. “Commodity producer ETFs are a unique way for investors to access equity-based exposure to this asset class, wrapped with the diversification benefits of an ETF.”

The iShares commodity producing ETFs include only companies at, or near, the initial phase of production of the commodity. For example, investors looking to express a view on global food prices can use the Global Agriculture Producers Fund to target the front end of the production chain (fertilizers or agricultural materials) while excluding exposure from companies at the end of the production chain (packaging and marketing). Companies at the beginning of the production cycle are more sensitive to fluctuations in the underlying commodity price, whereas companies further down the production cycle are impacted by a number of factors in addition to commodity prices.

”Through these new funds, investors can implement an equity-based solution for achieving highly targeted exposure to appealing commodity sectors, complementing or even replacing physically-backed or futures-based commodities approaches,” said Mr. Wojnar. “These funds offer an excellent example of the flexibility and efficiency of the ETF vehicle in helping investors implement tactical asset allocation strategies focused on taking advantage of the global markets’ most attractive emerging opportunities.”

All five funds track MSCI indices, utilizing a unique methodology to identify companies with more sensitivity to underlying commodity prices.

Editor’s Notes:

Details about the new funds can be found using the links below.

Global Agriculture Producers Fund (VEGI)

iShares MSCI iShares MSCI Global Energy Producers Fund (FILL)

iShares MSCI Global Select Metals & Mining Producers Fund (PICK)

iShares MSCI Global Gold Miners Fund (RING)

iShares MSCI Global Silver Miners Fund (SLVP)

About BlackRock

BlackRock is a leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients worldwide. At December 31, 2011, BlackRock’s AUM was $3.513 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, 2011, the firm has approximately 10,100 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.

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, 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. Narrowly focused investments typically exhibit higher volatility. Negative changes in commodity markets could have an adverse impact on companies the Funds invest in. Diversification and asset allocation may not protect against market risk.

This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events or a guarantee of future results. This information should not be relied upon by the reader as research or investment advice regarding the funds or any security in particular.

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.

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 Investments, LLC (“BRIL”), assists in the marketing of the Funds. BFA and BRIL are affiliates of BlackRock, Inc., none of which is affiliated with SEI.

The iShares Funds are not sponsored, endorsed, issued, sold or promoted by MSCI Inc., nor does this company 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.

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

Contacts:

BlackRock, Inc.
Media Relations
Christine Hudacko, 415-670-2687
christine.hudacko@blackrock.com
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