April 5, 2012 / 3:57 PM / 5 years ago

TEXT-S&P rates 3 iShares fixed-income exchange-traded funds

April 5 - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services today said it assigned fund
credit quality and volatility ratings on three iShares funds. We assigned our
'Bf' fund credit quality and 'S5' volatility ratings on the iShares Global ex
USD High Yield Corporate Bond Fund, our 'B-f' fund credit quality and 'S4'
volatility ratings on iShares Global High Yield Corporate Bond Fund, and our
'Bf' fund credit quality and 'S4' volatility ratings on iShares Emerging Markets
High Yield Bond Fund.	
	
The funds are part of iShares Inc., a registered investment company that 	
consists of more than 50 investment series or portfolios. The company was 	
organized as a Maryland corporation on Aug. 31, 1994, and is authorized to 	
have multiple series or portfolios. The company is an open-end management 	
investment company registered with the U.S. SEC under the Investment Company 	
Act of 1940, as amended. The offering of the company's shares is registered 	
under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. 	
	
BlackRock Fund Advisors (BFA), the funds' investment adviser, is a subsidiary 	
of BlackRock Inc. As of Dec. 31, 2011, BlackRock Inc. and its affiliates 	
provided investment advisory services for assets estimated to exceed $3.513 	
trillion. State Street Bank & Trust Co. is the administrator, custodian, and 	
transfer agent for the funds. BlackRock Investments LLC, a subsidiary of 	
BlackRock Inc., is the funds distributor.  	
	
BFA uses a passive or indexing approach to achieve each of the fund's 	
investment objectives. The funds were launched this week. They seek investment 	
results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before 	
fees and expenses, of the corresponding underlying index. The underlying index 	
for the iShares Global ex USD High Yield Corporate Bond Fund is the Markit 	
iBoxx Global Developed Markets ex-US High Yield Index, a rules-based index 	
consisting of high-yield corporate bonds denominated in euros, British pounds 	
sterling, and Canadian dollars. The underlying index for the iShares Global 	
High Yield Corporate Bond fund is the Markit iBoxx Global Developed Markets 	
High Yield Index, a rules-based index consisting of high-yield corporate bonds 	
denominated in U.S. dollars, euros, British pounds sterling, and Canadian 	
dollars. The underlying index for the iShares Emerging Markets High Yield Bond 	
Fund is the Morningstar Emerging Markets High Yield Bond Index, which tracks 	
the performance of the speculative-grade U.S. dollar-denominated emerging 	
market sovereign and corporate bond market.	
	
Our fund credit quality ratings, identified by the 'f' subscript, reflect the 	
level of protection the fund provides against losses from credit defaults. The 	
credit quality ratings scale ranges from 'AAAf' (extremely strong protection 	
against losses from credit defaults) to 'CCCf' (extremely vulnerable to losses 	
from credit defaults). The ratings from 'AAf' to 'CCCf' may be modified by the 	
addition of a plus (+) or minus (-) sign to show relative standing within the 	
major rating categories.	
	
Our fund volatility ratings, identified by the 'S' scale, are based on our 	
current opinion of a fixed-income fund's sensitivity to changing market 	
conditions, relative to a portfolio made up of government securities and 	
denominated in the base currency of the fund. The volatility ratings are based 	
on a scale from 'S1' (lowest sensitivity) to 'S6' (highest sensitivity). 	
Volatility ratings evaluate sensitivity to factors such as interest rate 	
movements, credit risk, and liquidity.	
	
We will monitor the funds monthly to ensure the consistency of the credit and 	
volatility profiles with the assigned ratings.	
	
RELATED RESEARCH	
     -- Fund Credit Quality Rating Criteria, Feb. 2, 2007	
     -- Fund Volatility Rating Criteria, Feb. 2, 2007

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