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Global markets offer strong opportunities for ETF investors

04-29-2011 11:06 AM CET | Business, Economy, Finances, Banking & Insurance

Press release from: Blackrock

Global equities are trading at some of the cheapest levels in more than a decade offering excellent opportunities for exchange traded fund (ETF) investors wishing to invest globally.

Tom Keenan, Director of Intermediary Sales, iShares said, "The Australian dollar is trading at its highest level for almost three decades - now above parity with the US dollar and in combination with cheap global equities, investors have much greater buying power in overseas markets."

James Holt, Global Investment Specialist at BlackRock believes global healthcare, consumer staples and IT companies offer exceptional value for global investors at present, particularly as China emerges into a fully-fledged global player.

"China is entering its next stage of development and becoming a more consumer-based economy. As a result, demand for middle-income consumer goods is on the increase. Apple was planning to open 25 new stores in China this year and has now had to go back to the

drawing board to make their stores larger in order to accommodate consumer demand. On average 40,000 customers will visit an Apple store per day in China compared to the United States, where around 10,000 customers visit a store per day."

According to Holt, leading IT brands, which were expensive a decade ago, are now trading at very cheap levels. Global healthcare companies are also incredibly cheap at present and will benefit from an aging population going forward. Corporate America, outside the banks, is generally in very good shape," said Mr Holt.

The global consumer staples sector offers diversification opportunities for Australian investors. Comprising of 100 companies, the sector is 30 times larger than Australia’s consumer staples sector.

BlackRock’s ETF business, iShares, has a range of solutions to allow investors to access these markets. Tom Keenan said, "ETFs are one of the most effective ways investors can access international markets due to their high liquidity and low cost and ability to react to changing market conditions quickly and simply."

"Investors can access global healthcare, consumer staples and information technology sectors via our ASX-listed ETFs including the iShares S&P Global Healthcare, iShares S&P Global Consumer Staples and iShares S&P Global Telecommunications. And for those investors seeking exposure to the top 500 companies in the US, they can invest in the iShares S&P 500" Mr Keenan concluded.

Further information is available at www.iShares.com.au

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Issued by BlackRock Asset Management Australia Limited ABN 33 001 804 566 AFSL 225398 ("BAMAL"). BAMAL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BlackRock, Inc. (collectively "BlackRock"). BlackRock believes the information in this document is correct at the time of issue, but no warranty of accuracy or reliability is given and no responsibility arising in any way for errors or omissions (including responsibility to any person by reason of negligence) is accepted by BlackRock.

This information is general in nature, and has been prepared without taking into account any individual's objectives, financial situation, or needs.

You should seek independent professional legal, financial, taxation, and/or other professional advice before making an investment decision regarding the iShares ETFs.

A

bout iShares
iShares is the global product leader in exchange traded funds with over 470 funds globally across equities, fixed income and commodities, which trade on 19 exchanges worldwide. In Australia, 23 iShares ETFs are traded on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), across both domestic and international indices. The first iShares ETF quotation on ASX occurred in October 2007. The iShares ETFs are bought and sold like common securities on securities exchanges. The iShares ETFs are attractive to many individual and institutional investors and financial intermediaries because of their relative low cost, liquidity and trading flexibility. Investors can purchase and sell shares or units (as the case may be) of an ETF through any brokerage firm, financial adviser, or online broker, and hold the funds in any type of brokerage account. The iShares customer base consists of the institutional segment of superannuation plans and fund managers, as well as the retail segment of financial advisers and individual investors. Visit iShares.com.au for further information.

iShares
c/- BlackRock Asset Management Australia Limited
PO Box N43
Grosvenor Place
Sydney NSW 1220

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