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BGI switches ETFs benchmark to FTSEurofirst indices

Barclays Global Investors (BGI) has switched the iShares FTSE Euro 100 and iShares FTSE Eurotop 100 ETFs benchmarks to the FTSEurofirst indices.

The new ETFs are the iShares FTSEurofirst 80 and iShares FTSEurofirst 100 respectively. The total expense ratio for these new funds is now 0.40% per annum, reduced from 0.55% per annum.

BGI's view is that the new FTSEurofirst indices are superior to the previous benchmarks in terms of market coverage, liquidity and transparency. The decision to change benchmarks for these funds was announced in June 2004.

Bruce Lavine, Head of iShares Europe said: "We are always looking to improve the iShares product offering to investors. The new ETFs have better pan-European exposure and therefore provide an improved product for institutional and retail investors. Additionally investors should also benefit from the existence of futures contracts on the new benchmarks."

The iShares FTSEurofirst 80 and iShares FTSEurofirst 100 are listed on the Borsa Italiana, Euronext Amsterdam, London Stock Exchange, virt-X and SWX exchanges and are registered for sale in France and Germany as well.

iShares is a range of exchange traded funds (ETFs) managed by Barclays Global Investors. iShares is the largest family of ETFs in the world with over 110 funds listed globally, totaling USD 94 billion, 11 of which are listed in Europe, with assets of USD 6.4 billion (according to Morgan Stanley 31 Aug 04).

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