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iShares Offers Canadian Investors Exposure to the S&P/TSX Capped Composite Index at 5 BPS

iShares Launches Core Series: A Suite of Low-Cost Funds Designed for the Foundation of Canadian Investors' Portfolios


iShares, the industry-leading exchange-traded fund (ETF) business at BlackRock Asset Management Canada Limited (BlackRock Canada), an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of BlackRock, Inc. (BlackRock), today announced the launch of the iShares Core Series for Canadian investors. As part of this launch the annual management fee on its iShares S&P/TSX Capped Composite Index ETF(i) (XIC) will be lowered to 0.05%, making Canada's benchmark-of-choice available at a very attractive low price. With $1.37 billion in assets under management (as of 03/21/14) and a 13-year track record of reliably delivering Canadian equity exposure, XIC is the low-cost flagship among a total of nine existing iShares funds in the iShares Core Series. BlackRock Canada has announced reductions to the annual management fees payable as a percentage of net asset value for all of the funds in the iShares Core Series, now ranging from 0.05% - 0.25% depending on the fund, effective as of March 25, 2014, described in the table below.

As the ETF market leader, with a 15 year history in ETFs in Canada and over $42 billion in AUM, the launch of the iShares Core Series signals another great step in our commitment to serving the needs of investors. The iShares Core Series is a suite of low-cost funds specifically designed for the long-term needs of today's investors by combining competitive pricing with diversified products using established index providers. The suite of funds cover key asset classes used by Canadian investors in their portfolios today, including Canadian equities, dividends and bonds, as well as U.S. and international equities.

"As we look to build on BlackRock's leadership position in Canada, we are taking another step to bolster our value proposition for investors," said Noel Archard, Managing Director, Head of BlackRock Canada. "We have brought the benefits of our global scale to an iShares Core Series in Canada, a low-cost range of key investment exposures for long-term investors."

iShares Core Series: Low-Cost, Core Exposures for Canadian Investors' Asset Allocation Needs

"iShares funds are used by individual investors, advisors, and institutions to express their views," said Mary Anne Wiley, Managing Director, Head of iShares Canada. "Our iShares Core Series provides all of these investors with the opportunity to efficiently create the core of their portfolio and execute their investment strategies."

With greater choice and diversity of products in the evolving ETF marketplace, Canadian investors are becoming increasingly savvy at using ETFs to meet their asset allocation strategies. Especially when it comes to their long-term core holdings, they are looking for any advantage to grow their wealth over time. Now, with new pricing on the iShares Core Series of nine iShares funds, BlackRock Canada is providing retail investors and their advisors with significant price flexibility as they implement their core asset allocation strategies more affordably - all backed by the quality, liquidity and transparency that has made iShares the Canadian ETF market leader.

At BlackRock, we believe investors should strengthen the core of their portfolios with low-cost, efficient products such as the iShares Core Series and complement their asset allocation strategies with outcome-based solutions designed to address more specific needs, from earning income in retirement to capitalizing on short-term market opportunities.

A growing number of institutional investors are already adopting this approach as they realize the benefits of ETFs as efficient, liquid building blocks to execute their investment strategies. A recent Greenwich Associates survey1 found that ETFs, while still popular for short-term tactical allocations such as cash equitization and manager transitions, are increasingly being used by institutions for strategic applications such as building liquidity overlays to core holdings. In fact, according to the Greenwich survey, the percentage of institutions using ETFs in this way has risen from just 3% in 2010 to 31% in 2013 - a dramatic 1,000% increase. Institutions are also using ETFs more and more as part of their "active beta" strategies, in which the funds allow them to execute highly targeted, outcome-based allocations.

Now, with the launch of the iShares Core Series, BlackRock is making this approach to ETF investing more broadly and more efficiently available to all investors - from institutions to retail investors.

"As more and more investors turn to ETFs 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 provide the professional quality you expect from iShares," added Wiley. "We believe that every investor is unique, and with this focused suite of funds, investors have the opportunity to match their 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."

TABLE: Led by XIC, the iShares Core Series, a suite of newly priced ETFs is designed to meet the long-term needs of investors as they build the core positions of their portfolios and execute their asset allocation strategies.

iShares Fund                     Ticker        Current       Management Fee 
                                        Management Fee  (Effective 03/25/14)
Canadian Equity:                                                            
iShares S&P/TSX Capped                                                      
Composite Index ETF(i)              XIC          0.25%                 0.05%
iShares S&P/TSX Equity                                                      
Income Index ETF(i)                 XEI          0.55%                 0.20%
Canadian Fixed Income:                                                      
iShares Canadian Short Term                                                 
Corporate + Maple Bond                                                      
Index ETF(i)                        XSH          0.25%                 0.12%
iShares High Quality                                                        
Canadian Bond Index ETF+/-          CAB          0.30%                 0.12%
iShares Canadian Long Term                                                  
Bond Index ETF(i)                   XLB          0.35%                 0.18%
International Equity:                                                       
iShares S&P 500 Index ETF                                                   
(CAD-Hedged)(i)beta                 XSP    up to 0.22%                 0.10%
iShares S&P 500 Index ETF           XUS          0.14%                 0.10%
iShares MSCI EAFE IMI Index                                                 
ETF                                 XEF          0.30%                 0.20%
iShares MSCI Emerging                                                       
Markets IMI Index ETF               XEC          0.35%                 0.25%

(i) In addition, the iShares funds changed their names effective March 25, 2014 in order to replace the word "Fund" with "ETF" and/or to reflect changes to the name of their underlying index.

+/- The advisor class of the iShares High Quality Canadian Bond Index ETF with the ticker CAB.A has also changed its annual management fee to 0.12% from its current annual management fee of 0.30%.

beta In connection with the significant reduction of its annual management fee, the fee structure of the iShares S&P 500 Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) (XSP) will be changed effective March 25, 2014 from its current fee structure to a total annual fee structure, such that the total annual fees paid directly to BlackRock Canada and indirectly to any of its affiliates in connection with any underlying funds in which XSP may invest, will not exceed the annual management fee set out in the table above. Previously, the annual management fee payable in relation to XSP represented the sum of a variable underlying product fee paid to an affiliate of BlackRock Canada and a fixed management fee payable to BlackRock Canada.

1. Greenwich Report, "Versatility Fuels ETF Growth in Canadian Institutional Portfolio", Q2 2013

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 US$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 has approximately 11,400 employees in 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 ETFs

The iShares business 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, tax efficiency and trading flexibility. Investors can purchase and sell securities 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 individual investors.

iShares Funds are managed by BlackRock Asset Management Canada Limited. Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with investing in iShares Funds. Please read the relevant prospectus before investing. The funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional.

© 2014 BlackRock Asset Management Canada Limited. All rights reserved. iSHARES® and BLACKROCK® are registered trademarks of BlackRock, Inc., or its subsidiaries in the United States and elsewhere. Used with permission.

Maeve Hannigan
Veritas Communications
416-955-4570 or Cell: 647-618-8621
Email: [email protected]

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