497 1 d511783d497.htm FORM 497 FOR ISHARES TRUST Form 497 for iShares Trust
Table of Contents
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July 1, 2012

(as revised April 15, 2013)

2012 Prospectus

 

iShares 10+ Year Credit Bond Fund

CLY • NYSE ARCA

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has not approved or disapproved these securities or passed upon the adequacy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

 

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Table of Contents

 

Fund Overview      S-1   
More Information About the Fund      1   
A Further Discussion of Principal Risks      1   
A Further Discussion of Other Risks      9   
Portfolio Holdings Information      10   
Management      10   
Shareholder Information      13   
Distribution      20   
Financial Highlights      21   
Index Provider      22   
Disclaimers      22   
Supplemental Information      25   

 

“BofA Merrill Lynch” and the “BofA Merrill Lynch 10+ Year US Corporate & Yankees IndexSM” are service marks of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated and/or its affiliates, and have been licensed for use for certain purposes by BlackRock Fund Advisors or its affiliates on behalf of the Fund. iShares® is a registered trademark of BlackRock Fund Advisors or its affiliates.

 

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iSHARES® 10+ YEAR CREDIT BOND FUND

 

Ticker: CLY   Stock Exchange: NYSE Arca

Investment Objective

The iShares 10+ Year Credit Bond Fund (the “Fund”) seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of The BofA Merrill Lynch 10+ Year US Corporate & Yankees Index (the “Underlying Index”), which includes debt securities issued publicly by U.S. corporations and U.S. dollar-denominated, publicly-issued debt of non-U.S. corporations, non-U.S. government debt and supranational debt.

Fees and Expenses

The following table describes the fees and expenses that you will incur if you own shares of the Fund. The investment advisory agreement between iShares Trust (the “Trust”) and BlackRock Fund Advisors (“BFA”) (the “Investment Advisory Agreement”) provides that BFA will pay all operating expenses of the Fund, except interest expenses, taxes, brokerage expenses, future distribution fees or expenses, and extraordinary expenses.

You may also incur usual and customary brokerage commissions when buying or selling shares of the Fund, which are not reflected in the example that follows:

 

Annual Fund Operating Expenses

(ongoing expenses that you pay each year as a

percentage of the value of your investments)

Management
Fees

 

Distribution and
Service (12b-1)
Fees

 

Other
Expenses

 

Total Annual
Fund
Operating
Expenses

0.20%   None   None   0.20%

Example. This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of owning shares of the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then sell all of your shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions, your costs would be:

 

1 Year

 

3 Years

 

5 Years

 

10 Years

$20   $64   $113   $255

Portfolio Turnover. The Fund may pay transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Fund shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in Annual Fund Operating Expenses or in the Example, affect the Fund’s performance. During the most recent fiscal year, the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate was 6% of the average value of its portfolio.

 

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Principal Investment Strategies

The Underlying Index is a broad, market-value weighted, total rate of return index designed to measure the performance of the long-term, investment grade U.S. corporate and Yankee bond markets. Component securities include publicly-issued debt of U.S. corporations and U.S. dollar-denominated, publicly-issued debt of non-U.S. corporations, non-U.S. government debt and supranational debt.

The securities in the Underlying Index have $250 million or more of outstanding face value, and have at least 10 years remaining to maturity or the first call date in the case of callable perpetual securities. In addition, the securities in the Underlying Index must be denominated in U.S. dollars, have a fixed coupon schedule (or at least 10 years before the last call prior to the date the bond transitions from a fixed-rate to a floating-rate security). The Underlying Index is rebalanced on the last calendar day of each month, based on information available up to and including the third business day before the last business day of the month.

As of April 30, 2012, the Underlying Index consisted of 1,401 U.S. dollar-denominated issues of supranational and national entities of, and corporate entities whose principal place of business is in, the following countries or regions: Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Peru, Qatar, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States. Components primarily include financials, industrials and utilities entities, and may change over time.

BFA uses a “passive” or indexing approach to try to achieve the Fund’s investment objective. Unlike many investment companies, the Fund does not try to “beat” the index it tracks and does not seek temporary defensive positions when markets decline or appear overvalued.

Indexing may eliminate the chance that the Fund will substantially outperform the Underlying Index but also may reduce some of the risks of active management, such as poor security selection. Indexing seeks to achieve lower costs and better after-tax performance by keeping portfolio turnover low in comparison to actively managed investment companies.

BFA uses a representative sampling indexing strategy to manage the Fund. “Representative sampling” is an indexing strategy that involves investing in a representative sample of securities that collectively has an investment profile similar to the Underlying Index. The securities selected are expected to have, in the aggregate, investment characteristics (based on factors such as market capitalization and industry weightings), fundamental characteristics (such as return variability, duration, maturity or credit ratings and yield) and liquidity measures similar to those of the Underlying Index. The Fund may or may not hold all of the securities in the Underlying Index.

The Fund generally invests at least 80% of its assets in the securities of the Underlying Index or in depositary

 

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receipts representing securities in the Underlying Index. The Fund may invest the remainder of its assets in certain futures, options and swap contracts, cash and cash equivalents, including money market funds advised by BFA or its affiliates, as well as in securities not included in the Underlying Index, but which BFA believes will help the Fund track the Underlying Index.

The Fund may lend securities representing up to one-third of the value of the Fund’s total assets (including the value of the collateral received).

The Underlying Index is sponsored by an organization (the “Index Provider”) that is independent of the Fund and BFA. The Index Provider determines the composition and relative weightings of the securities in the Underlying Index and publishes information regarding the market value of the Underlying Index. The Fund’s Index Provider is Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (“BofA Merrill Lynch”).

Industry Concentration Policy. The Fund will concentrate its investments (i.e., hold 25% or more of its total assets) in a particular industry or group of industries, which may include large-, mid- or small-capitalization companies, to approximately the same extent that the Underlying Index is concentrated. For purposes of this limitation, securities of the U.S. government (including its agencies and instrumentalities), repurchase agreements collateralized by U.S. government securities, and securities of state or municipal governments and their political subdivisions are not considered to be issued by members of any industry.

Summary of Principal Risks

As with any investment, you could lose all or part of your investment in the Fund, and the Fund’s performance could trail that of other investments. The Fund is subject to the principal risks noted below, any of which may adversely affect the Fund’s net asset value per share (“NAV”), trading price, yield, total return and ability to meet its investment objective.

Asset Class Risk. Securities in the Underlying Index or in the Fund’s portfolio may underperform in comparison to the general securities markets or other asset classes.

Call Risk. During periods of falling interest rates, an issuer of a callable bond held by the Fund may “call” or repay the security before its stated maturity, and the Fund may have to reinvest the proceeds at lower interest rates, resulting in a decline in the Fund’s income.

Concentration Risk. To the extent that the Fund’s investments are concentrated in a particular sovereign entity or entities, in a particular country, group of countries, market, sector or asset class, the Fund may be susceptible to loss due to adverse occurrences affecting that sovereign entity or entities, in a particular country, group of countries, market, sector or asset class.

Credit Risk. The Fund is subject to the risk that debt issuers and other counterparties may not honor their obligations or may have their debt downgraded by ratings agencies.

Custody Risk. Less developed markets are more likely to experience problems with the clearing and settling of trades and the holding of securities by local banks, agents and depositories.

 

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Extension Risk. During periods of rising interest rates, certain obligations will be paid off substantially more slowly than originally anticipated and the value of those securities may fall sharply, resulting in a decline to the Fund’s income and potentially in the value of the Fund’s investments.

Financial Sector Risk. Performance of companies in the financial sector may be adversely impacted by many factors, including, among others, government regulations, economic conditions, credit rating downgrades, changes in interest rates, and decreased liquidity in credit markets. This sector has experienced significant losses in the recent past, and the impact of more stringent capital requirements and of recent or future regulation on any individual financial company or on the sector as a whole cannot be predicted.

Geographic Risk. A natural or other disaster could occur in a geographic region in which the Fund invests.

Income Risk. The Fund’s income may decline when interest rates fall. This decline can occur because the Fund must invest in lower-yielding bonds as bonds in its portfolio mature, bonds in the Underlying Index are substituted or the Fund otherwise needs to purchase additional bonds.

Industrials Sector Risk. The industrials sector may be affected by changes in the supply and demand for products and services, product obsolescence, claims for environmental damage or product liability and general economic conditions, among other factors.

Interest Rate Risk. An increase in interest rates may cause the value of fixed-income securities held by the Fund to decline.

Issuer Risk. Fund performance depends on the performance of individual securities to which the Fund has exposure. Changes to the financial condition or credit rating of an issuer of those securities may cause the value of the securities to decline.

Liquidity Risk. Liquidity risk exists when particular investments are difficult to purchase or sell. This can reduce the Fund’s returns because the Fund may be unable to transact at advantageous times or prices.

Management Risk. As the Fund may not fully replicate the Underlying Index, it is subject to the risk that BFA’s investment management strategy may not produce the intended results.

Market Risk. The Fund could lose money over short periods due to short-term market movements and over longer periods during market downturns.

Market Trading Risk. The Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including the potential lack of an active market for Fund shares, losses from trading in secondary markets, periods of high volatility and disruption in the creation/redemption process of the Fund. ANY OF THESE FACTORS, AMONG OTHERS, MAY LEAD TO THE FUND’S SHARES TRADING AT A PREMIUM OR DISCOUNT TO NAV.

Non-Diversification Risk. The Fund may invest a large percentage of its assets in securities issued by or representing a small number of issuers. As a result, the Fund’s performance may depend on the performance of a small number of issuers.

Non-U.S. Issuers Risk. Securities issued by non-U.S. issuers carry different risks from securities issued by U.S. issuers. These include differences

 

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in accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, the possibility of expropriation or confiscatory taxation, adverse changes in investment or exchange control regulations, political instability, regulatory and economic differences, and potential restrictions on the flow of international capital. The Fund is specifically exposed to North American Economic Risk.

North American Economic Risk. The United States is Canada’s and Mexico’s largest trading and investment partner. Economic events in any one North American country can have a significant economic effect on the entire North American region, and on some or all of the North American countries in which the Fund invests.

Passive Investment Risk. The Fund is not actively managed and BFA does not attempt to take defensive positions under any market conditions, including declining markets.

Reliance on Trading Partners Risk. The Fund invests in countries whose economies are heavily dependent upon trading with key partners. Any reduction in this trading may have an adverse impact on the Fund’s investments. Through its trading partners, the Fund is specifically exposed to U.S. Economic Risk.

Securities Lending Risk. The Fund may engage in securities lending. Securities lending involves the risk that the Fund may lose money because the borrower of the Fund’s loaned securities fails to return the securities in a timely manner or at all. The Fund could also lose money in the event of a decline in the value of the collateral provided for loaned securities or a decline in the value of any investments made with cash collateral. These events could also trigger adverse tax consequences for the Fund.

Security Risk. Some countries and regions in which the Fund invests have experienced security concerns. Incidents involving a country’s or region’s security may cause uncertainty in these markets and may adversely affect their economies and the Fund’s investments.

Sovereign and Quasi-Sovereign Obligations Risk. The Fund invests in securities issued by or guaranteed by non-U.S. sovereign governments and by entities affiliated with or backed by non-U.S. sovereign governments, which may be unable or unwilling to repay principal or interest when due. In times of economic uncertainty, the prices of these securities may be more volatile than those of corporate debt obligations.

Structural Risk. The countries in which the Fund invests may be subject to considerable degrees of economic, political and social instability.

Tracking Error Risk. Tracking error is the divergence of the Fund’s performance from that of the Underlying Index. Tracking error may occur because of imperfect correlation between the Fund’s holdings of portfolio securities and those in the Underlying Index, pricing differences, the Fund’s holding of cash, differences on timing of the accrual of dividends, changes to the Underlying Index or the need to meet various regulatory requirements. This risk may be heightened during times of increased market volatility or other unusual market conditions. Tracking error also may result because the Fund incurs fees and expenses, while the Underlying Index does not. BFA expects that the Fund may experience higher tracking error than is typical for similar index ETFs.

 

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U.S. Government Issuers Risk. Treasury obligations may differ in their interest rates, maturities, times of issuance and other characteristics. Obligations of U.S. government agencies and authorities are supported by varying degrees of credit, but generally are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Similar to other issuers, changes to the financial condition or credit rating of the U.S. government or U.S. government agencies and authorities may cause the value of the Fund’s investments to decline.

Utilities Sector Risk. The utilities sector is subject to significant government regulation and oversight. Companies in the utilities sector may be adversely affected due to increases in fuel and operating costs, rising costs of financing capital construction and the cost of complying with U.S. federal and state regulations, among other factors.

Valuation Risk. The sales price the Fund could receive for a security may differ from the Fund’s valuation of the security and may differ from the value used by the Underlying Index, particularly for securities that trade in low volume or volatile markets or that are valued using a fair value methodology. In addition, the value of the securities in the Fund’s portfolio may change on days when shareholders will not be able to purchase or sell the Fund’s shares.

 

Performance Information

The bar chart and table that follow show how the Fund has performed on a calendar year basis and provide an indication of the risks of investing in the Fund. Both assume that all dividends and distributions have been reinvested in the Fund. Past performance (before and after taxes) does not necessarily indicate how the Fund will perform in the future. Supplemental information about the Fund’s performance is shown under the heading Total Return Information in the Supplemental Information section of the Fund’s prospectus (the “Prospectus”).

Year by Year Returns1 (Year Ended December 31)

 

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The Fund’s total return for the three months ended March 31, 2012 was 1.14%.

The best calendar quarter return during the period shown above was 6.52% in the 3rd quarter of 2010; the worst was -3.23% in the 4th quarter of 2010.

Updated performance information is available at www.iShares.com or by calling 1-800-iShares (1-800-474-2737) (toll free).

 

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Average Annual Total Returns

(for the periods ended December 31, 2011)

 

 
    One Year     Since Fund
Inception
 
(Inception Date: 12/8/2009)    

Return Before Taxes

    15.31%        12.09%   

Return After Taxes on Distributions1

    13.39%        10.11%   

Return After Taxes on Distributions and Sale of Fund Shares1

    9.86%        9.13%   
BofA Merrill Lynch 10+ Year US Corporate & Yankees Index (Index returns do not reflect deductions for fees, expenses, or taxes)     15.15%        12.73%   

 

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After-tax returns in the table above are calculated using the historical highest individual U.S. federal marginal income tax rates and do not reflect the impact of state or local taxes. Actual after-tax returns depend on an investor’s tax situation and may differ from those shown, and after-tax returns shown are not relevant to tax-exempt investors or investors who hold shares through tax-deferred arrangements, such as 401(k) plans or individual retirement accounts (“IRAs”). Fund returns after taxes on distributions and sale of Fund shares are calculated assuming that an investor has sufficient capital gains of the same character from other investments to offset any capital losses from the sale of Fund shares. As a result, Fund returns after taxes on distributions and sale of Fund shares may exceed Fund returns before taxes and/or returns after taxes on distributions.

 

Management

Investment Adviser. BlackRock Fund Advisors.

Portfolio Managers. James Mauro and Scott Radell (the “Portfolio Managers”) are primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund. Each Portfolio Manager supervises a portfolio management team. Mr. Mauro and Mr. Radell have been Portfolio Managers of the Fund since 2011 and 2010, respectively.

Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares

The Fund is an exchange-traded fund (commonly referred to as an “ETF”). Individual Fund shares may only be purchased and sold on a national securities exchange through a broker-dealer. The price of Fund shares is based on market price, and because ETF shares trade at market prices rather than NAV, shares may trade at a price greater than NAV (a premium) or less than NAV (a discount). The Fund will only issue or redeem shares that have been aggregated into blocks of 100,000 shares or multiples thereof (“Creation Units”) to authorized participants who have entered into agreements with the Fund’s distributor. The Fund generally will issue or redeem Creation Units in return for a designated portfolio of securities (and an amount of cash) that the Fund specifies each day.

Tax Information

The Fund intends to make distributions that may be taxable to you as ordinary income or capital gains, unless you are investing through a tax-deferred arrangement such as a 401(k) plan or an IRA.

Payments to Broker-Dealers and other Financial Intermediaries

If you purchase shares of the Fund through a broker-dealer or other

 

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financial intermediary (such as a bank), BFA or other related companies may pay the intermediary for marketing activities and presentations, educational training programs, conferences, the development of technology platforms and reporting systems or other services related to the sale or promotion of the Fund. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the broker-dealer or other intermediary and your salesperson to recommend the Fund over another investment. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.

 

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More Information About the Fund

This Prospectus contains important information about investing in the Fund. Please read this Prospectus carefully before you make any investment decisions. Additional information regarding the Fund is available at www.iShares.com.

BFA is the investment adviser to the Fund. Shares of the Fund are listed for trading on NYSE Arca, Inc. (“NYSE Arca”). The market price for a share of the Fund may be different from the Fund’s most recent NAV.

ETFs are funds that trade like other publicly traded securities. The Fund is designed to track an index. Similar to shares of an index mutual fund, each share of the Fund represents a partial ownership in an underlying portfolio of securities intended to track a market index. Unlike shares of a mutual fund, which can be bought and redeemed from the issuing fund by all shareholders at a price based on NAV, shares of the Fund may be purchased or redeemed directly from the Fund at NAV solely by authorized participants. Also unlike shares of a mutual fund, shares of the Fund are listed on a national securities exchange and trade in the secondary market at market prices that change throughout the day.

The Fund invests in a particular segment of the securities markets and seeks to track the performance of a securities index that generally is not representative of the market as a whole. The Fund is designed to be used as part of broader asset allocation strategies. Accordingly, an investment in the Fund should not constitute a complete investment program.

An index is a theoretical financial calculation while the Fund is an actual investment portfolio. The performance of the Fund and the Underlying Index may vary due to transaction costs, non-U.S. currency valuations, asset valuations, corporate actions (such as mergers and spin-offs), timing variances and differences between the Fund’s portfolio and the Underlying Index resulting from legal restrictions (such as diversification requirements) that apply to the Fund but not to the Underlying Index or to the use of representative sampling. “Tracking error” is the difference between the performance (return) of the Fund’s portfolio and that of the Underlying Index. BFA expects that, over time, the Fund’s tracking error will not exceed 5%. Because the Fund uses a representative sampling indexing strategy, it can be expected to have a larger tracking error than if it used a replication indexing strategy. “Replication” is an indexing strategy in which a fund invests in substantially all of the securities in its underlying index in approximately the same proportions as in the underlying index.

An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and it is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency, BFA or any of its affiliates.

The Fund’s investment objective and the Underlying Index may be changed without shareholder approval.

A Further Discussion of Principal Risks

The Fund is subject to various risks, including the principal risks noted below, any of which may adversely affect the Fund’s NAV, trading price, yield, total return and ability

 

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to meet its investment objective. You could lose all or part of your investment in the Fund, and the Fund could underperform other investments.

Asset Class Risk. The securities in the Underlying Index or in the Fund’s portfolio may underperform the returns of other securities or indexes that track other countries, groups of countries, regions, industries, groups of industries, markets, asset classes or sectors. Various types of securities or indexes tend to experience cycles of outperformance and underperformance in comparison to the general securities markets.

Call Risk. During periods of falling interest rates, an issuer of a callable bond held by the Fund may “call” or repay the security before its stated maturity, which may result in the Fund having to reinvest the proceeds at lower interest rates, resulting in a decline in the Fund’s income.

Concentration Risk. The Fund’s investments will generally follow the weightings of the Underlying Index, which may result in concentration of the Fund’s investments in a particular sovereign entity or entities in a particular country, group of countries, region, market, sector or asset class. To the extent that its Underlying Index or portfolio is concentrated in the bonds of a particular country, group of countries, region, market, sector or asset class, the Fund may be adversely affected by the performance of those bonds, may be subject to increased price volatility and may be more susceptible to adverse economic, market, political or regulatory occurrences affecting that sovereign and quasi-sovereign country, group of countries, region, market, sector or asset class.

Credit Risk. Credit risk is the risk that an issuer or guarantor of debt instruments or the counterparty to a derivatives contract, repurchase agreement or loan of portfolio securities will be unable or unwilling to make its timely interest and/or principal payments or to otherwise honor its obligations. Debt instruments are subject to varying degrees of credit risk, which may be reflected in their credit ratings. There is the chance that any of the Fund’s portfolio holdings will have their credit ratings downgraded or will default (i.e., fail to make scheduled interest or principal payments), potentially reducing the Fund’s income level or share price.

Custody Risk. Custody risk refers to the risks inherent in the process of clearing and settling trades and the holding of securities by local banks, agents and depositories. Low trading volumes and volatile prices in less developed markets may make trades harder to complete and settle, and governments or trade groups may compel local agents to hold securities in designated depositories that may not be subject to independent evaluation. Local agents are held only to the standards of care of their local markets. In general, the less developed a country’s securities market is, the greater the likelihood of custody problems.

Extension Risk. During periods of rising interest rates, certain obligations will be paid off substantially more slowly than originally anticipated and the value of those securities may fall sharply, resulting in a decline to the Fund’s income and potentially in the value of the Fund’s investments.

Financial Sector Risk. Companies in the financial sector of an economy are often subject to extensive governmental regulation and, recently, government intervention and the potential for additional regulation, which may adversely affect the scope of

 

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their activities, the prices they can charge and the amount of capital they must maintain. Governmental regulation may change frequently and may have significant adverse consequences for companies in the financial sector, including effects not intended by such regulation. The impact of recent or future regulation in various countries on any individual financial company or on the sector as a whole cannot be predicted. Certain risks may impact the value of investments in the financial sector more severely than investments outside this sector, including the risks associated with companies that operate with substantial financial leverage. Companies in the financial sector may also be adversely affected by increases in interest rates and loan losses, decreases in the availability of money or asset valuations, credit rating downgrades and adverse conditions in other related markets. Insurance companies, in particular, may be subject to severe price competition and/or rate regulation, which may have an adverse impact on their profitability. Over the past few years, the deterioration of the credit markets has affected a broad range of mortgage, asset-backed, auction rate, sovereign debt and other securities markets, including U.S. and non-U.S. credit and interbank money markets, thereby affecting a wide range of financial institutions and markets. A number of large financial institutions have failed, have merged with other companies or have had significant government infusions of capital. This situation has created instability in the financial markets and caused certain financial companies to incur large losses. Some financial companies have experienced declines in the valuations of their assets, taken actions to raise capital (such as the issuance of debt or equity securities), or even ceased operations. Some financial companies have borrowed significant amounts of capital from government sources and may face future government-imposed restrictions on their businesses or increased government intervention. These actions have caused the securities of many financial companies to decline in value. The financial sector is particularly sensitive to fluctuations in interest rates.

Geographic Risk. Some markets in which the Fund invests are located in parts of the world that have historically been prone to natural disasters, such as earthquakes, volcanoes, droughts, floods, hurricanes and tsunamis, and are economically sensitive to environmental events. Any natural or other disaster could have a significant adverse impact on the economies of these geographic areas, causing an adverse impact on the Fund’s investments in the affected region.

Income Risk. The Fund’s income may decline when interest rates fall. This decline can occur because the Fund must invest in lower-yielding bonds as bonds in its portfolio mature, bonds in the Underlying Index are substituted or the Fund otherwise needs to purchase additional bonds. The Index Provider’s substitution of bonds in the Underlying Index may occur, for example, when the time to maturity for the bond no longer matches the Underlying Index’s stated maturity guidelines.

Industrials Sector Risk. The stock prices of companies in the industrials sector are affected by supply and demand, both for their specific product or service and for industrials sector products in general. The products of manufacturing companies may face obsolescence due to rapid technological developments and frequent new product introduction. Government regulations, world events, economic conditions and exchange rates affect the performance of companies in the industrials sector. Companies in the industrials sector may be adversely affected by liability for

 

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environmental damage and product liability claims. The industrials sector may also be adversely affected by changes or trends in commodity prices, which may be influenced by unpredictable factors.

Interest Rate Risk. As interest rates rise, the value of a fixed-income security held by the Fund is likely to decrease. Securities with longer durations tend to be more sensitive to interest rate changes, usually making them more volatile than securities with shorter durations. To the extent the Fund invests a substantial portion of its assets in fixed-income securities with longer-term maturities, rising interest rates may cause the value of the Fund’s investments to decline significantly.

Issuer Risk. Fund performance depends on the performance of individual securities to which the Fund has exposure. Changes to the financial condition or credit rating of an issuer of those securities may cause the value of the securities to decline.

Liquidity Risk. Liquidity risk exists when particular investments are difficult to purchase or sell. If the Fund invests in illiquid securities or securities that become illiquid, such investments may have a negative effect on the returns of the Fund because the Fund may be unable to sell the illiquid securities at an advantageous time or price. To the extent that the Fund’s principal investment strategies involve investing in securities with substantial market and/or credit risk, the Fund will tend to have the greatest exposure to liquidity risk. Liquid investments may become illiquid after purchase by the Fund, particularly during periods of market turmoil. Illiquid investments may be harder to value, especially in changing markets, and if the Fund is forced to sell these investments to meet redemption requests or for other cash needs, the Fund may suffer a loss. There can be no assurance that a security that is deemed to be liquid when purchased will continue to be liquid for as long as it is held by the Fund.

Management Risk. The Fund may not fully replicate the Underlying Index and may hold securities not included in the Underlying Index. As a result, the Fund is subject to the risk that BFA’s investment management strategy, the implementation of which is subject to a number of constraints, may not produce the intended results.

Market Risk. The Fund could lose money due to short-term market movements and over longer periods during market downturns. Securities may decline in value due to factors affecting securities markets generally or particular industries represented in the markets. The value of a security may decline due to general market conditions, economic trends or events that are not specifically related to the issuer of the security or to factors that affect a particular industry or group of industries. During a general downturn in the securities markets, multiple asset classes may be negatively affected. Fixed-income securities with short-term maturities are generally less sensitive to such changes than fixed-income securities with longer-term maturities.

Market Trading Risk

Absence of Active Market. Although shares of the Fund are listed for trading on one or more stock exchanges, there can be no assurance that an active trading market for such shares will develop or be maintained.

Risk of Secondary Listings. The Fund’s shares may be listed or traded on U.S. and non-U.S. stock exchanges other than the U.S. stock exchange where the Fund’s primary listing is maintained. There can be no assurance that the Fund’s shares will continue to

 

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trade on any such stock exchange or in any market or that the Fund’s shares will continue to meet the requirements for listing or trading on any exchange or in any market. The Fund’s shares may be less actively traded in certain markets than others, and investors are subject to the execution and settlement risks and market standards of the market where they or their broker direct their trades for execution. Certain information available to investors who trade Fund shares on a U.S. stock exchange during regular U.S. market hours may not be available to investors who trade in other markets, which may result in secondary market prices in such markets being less efficient.

Secondary Market Trading Risk. Shares of the Fund may trade in the secondary market at times when the Fund does not accept orders to purchase or redeem shares. At such times, shares may trade in the secondary market with more significant premiums or discounts than might be experienced at times when the Fund accepts purchase and redemption orders.

Secondary market trading in Fund shares may be halted by a stock exchange because of market conditions or other reasons. In addition, trading in Fund shares on a stock exchange or in any market may be subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to “circuit breaker” rules on the stock exchange or market. There can be no assurance that the requirements necessary to maintain the listing or trading of Fund shares will continue to be met or will remain unchanged.

Shares of the Fund, similar to shares of other issuers listed on a stock exchange, may be sold short and are therefore subject to the risk of increased volatility associated with short selling.

Shares of the Fund May Trade at Prices Other Than NAV. Shares of the Fund trade on stock exchanges at prices at, above or below their most recent NAV. The NAV of the Fund is calculated at the end of each business day and fluctuates with changes in the market value of the Fund’s holdings since the most recent calculation. The trading prices of the Fund’s shares fluctuate continuously throughout trading hours based on market supply and demand rather than NAV. The trading prices of the Fund’s shares may deviate significantly from NAV during periods of market volatility. ANY OF THESE FACTORS, AMONG OTHERS, MAY LEAD TO THE FUND’S SHARES TRADING AT A PREMIUM OR DISCOUNT TO NAV. However, because shares can be created and redeemed in Creation Units at NAV (unlike shares of many closed-end funds, which frequently trade at appreciable discounts from, and sometimes at premiums to, their NAVs), BFA believes that large discounts or premiums to the NAV of the Fund are not likely to be sustained over the long-term. While the creation/redemption feature is designed to make it likely that the Fund’s shares normally will trade on stock exchanges at prices close to the Fund’s next calculated NAV, exchange prices are not expected to correlate exactly with the Fund’s NAV due to timing reasons as well as market supply and demand factors. In addition, disruptions to creations and redemptions or extreme market volatility may result in trading prices for shares of the Fund that differ significantly from its NAV.

Costs of Buying or Selling Fund Shares. Buying or selling Fund shares on an exchange involves two types of costs that apply to all securities transactions. When buying or selling shares of the Fund through a broker, you will likely incur a brokerage

 

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commission or other charges imposed by brokers as determined by that broker. In addition, you may incur the cost of the “spread” – that is, the difference between what investors are willing to pay for Fund shares (the “bid” price) and the price at which they are willing to sell Fund shares (the “ask” price). Because of the costs inherent in buying or selling Fund shares, frequent trading may detract significantly from investment results and an investment in Fund shares may not be advisable for investors who anticipate regularly making small investments.

Non-Diversification Risk. The Fund is classified as “non-diversified.” This means that the Fund may invest a large percentage of its assets in securities issued by or representing a small number of issuers. As a result, the Fund may be more susceptible to the risks associated with these particular issuers, or to a single economic, political or regulatory occurrence affecting these issuers.

Non-U.S. Issuers Risk. Securities issued by non-U.S. issuers have different risks from securities issued by U.S. issuers. These include differences in accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, the possibility of expropriation or confiscatory taxation, adverse changes in investment or exchange control regulations, political instability which could affect U.S. investments in non-U.S. countries, and potential restrictions of the flow of international capital. Non-U.S. issuers may be subject to less governmental regulation than U.S. issuers. Moreover, individual non-U.S. economies may differ favorably or unfavorably from the U.S. economy in such respects as growth of gross domestic product, rate of inflation, capital reinvestment, resource self-sufficiency and balance of payment positions. In addition, the value of these securities may fluctuate due to changes in the exchange rate of the issuer’s local currency against the U.S. dollar.

North American Economic Risk. The United States is Canada’s and Mexico’s largest trading and investment partner. The Canadian and Mexican economies are significantly affected by developments in the U.S. economy. Since the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”) in 1994 among Canada, the United States and Mexico, total merchandise trade between the three countries has increased. To further this relationship, the three NAFTA countries entered into the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America in March 2005, which may further affect Canada’s and Mexico’s dependency on the U.S. economy. Economic events in any one North American country can have a significant economic effect on the entire North American region, and on some or all of the North American countries in which the Fund invests.

Passive Investment Risk. The Fund is not actively managed and may be affected by a general decline in bond market segments related to the Underlying Index. The Fund invests in securities included in, or representative of, the Underlying Index, regardless of their investment merits. BFA generally does not attempt to take defensive positions under any market conditions, including declining markets.

Reliance on Trading Partners Risk. Economies in emerging market countries generally are heavily dependent upon commodity prices and international trade and, accordingly, have been and may continue to be affected adversely by the economies of their trading partners, trade barriers, exchange controls, managed adjustments in relative currency values, and may suffer from extreme and volatile debt burdens or

 

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inflation rates. These countries may be subject to other protectionist measures imposed or negotiated by the countries with which they trade.

Securities Lending Risk. The Fund may engage in securities lending. Securities lending involves the risk that the Fund may lose money because the borrower of the Fund’s loaned securities fails to return the securities in a timely manner or at all. The Fund could also lose money in the event of a decline in the value of the collateral provided for the loaned securities or a decline in the value of any investments made with cash collateral. These events could also trigger adverse tax consequences for the Fund.

Security Risk. Some countries and regions in which the Fund invests have experienced acts of terrorism or strained international relations due to territorial disputes, historical animosities or other defense concerns. These situations may cause uncertainty in the markets of these countries and regions and may adversely affect their economies.

Sovereign and Quasi-Sovereign Obligations Risk. An investment in sovereign or quasi-sovereign debt obligations involves special risks not present in corporate debt obligations. Sovereign debt includes investments in securities issued by or guaranteed by a foreign sovereign government, and quasi-sovereign debt includes investments in securities issued by or guaranteed by an entity affiliated with or backed by a sovereign government. The issuer of the sovereign debt that controls the repayment of the debt may be unable or unwilling to repay principal or interest when due, and the Fund may have limited recourse in the event of a default. Similar to other issuers, changes to the financial condition or credit rating of a non-U.S. government may cause the value of a sovereign debt, including treasury obligations, to decline. During periods of economic uncertainty, the market prices of sovereign debt may be more volatile than prices of U.S. debt obligations and may affect the Fund’s NAV. In the past, certain emerging market countries have encountered difficulties in servicing their debt obligations, withheld payments of principal and interest and declared moratoria on the payment of principal and interest on their sovereign debts. Several countries in which the Fund invests have defaulted on their sovereign obligations in the past or encountered downgrades of their sovereign obligations, and those countries (or other countries) may default or risk further downgrades in the future.

Structural Risk. Certain countries in which the Fund invests may experience currency devaluations, substantial rates of inflation or economic recessions, causing a negative effect on their economies and securities markets.

Tracking Error Risk. Tracking error is the divergence of the Fund’s performance from that of the Underlying Index. Tracking error may occur because of imperfect correlation between the Fund’s holdings of portfolio securities and those in the Underlying Index, pricing differences, the Fund’s holding of cash, differences on timing of the accrual of dividends, changes to the Underlying Index or the need to meet various regulatory requirements. This risk may be heightened during times of increased market volatility or other unusual market conditions. Tracking error also may result because the Fund incurs fees and expenses, while the Underlying Index does not. BFA expects that the Fund may experience higher tracking error than is typical for similar index ETFs.

 

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U.S. Economic Risk. The United States is a significant, and in some cases the most significant, trading partner of or foreign investor in certain emerging markets and the economies of these countries may be particularly affected by adverse changes in the U.S. economy. Decreasing U.S. imports, new trade regulations, changes in the U.S. dollar exchange rates or a recession in the United States may have a material adverse effect on the economies of these nations and, as a result, securities to which the Fund has exposure.

U.S. Government Issuers Risk. Treasury obligations may differ in their interest rates, maturities, times of issuance and other characteristics. Obligations of U.S. government agencies and authorities are supported by varying degrees of credit but generally are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Similar to other issuers, changes to the financial condition or credit rating of the U.S. government or U.S. government agencies and authorities may cause the value of the Fund’s investments to decline. On August 5, 2011, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services downgraded U.S. Treasury securities from AAA rating to AA+. A downgrade of the ratings of U.S. government debt obligations, which are often used as a benchmark for other borrowing arrangements, could result in higher interest rates for individual and corporate borrowers, cause disruptions in the international bond markets and have a substantial negative effect on the U.S. economy. A downgrade of U.S. Treasury securities from another ratings agency or a further downgrade below AA+ rating by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services may cause the value of the Fund’s U.S. Treasury obligations to decline.

Utilities Sector Risk. Deregulation is subjecting utility companies to greater competition and may adversely affect profitability. As deregulation allows utilities companies to diversify outside of their original geographic regions and their traditional lines of business, utilities companies may engage in riskier ventures. Companies in the utilities industry may have difficulty obtaining an adequate return on invested capital, raising capital, and financing large construction programs during periods of inflation or unsettled capital markets; face restrictions on operations and increased cost and delays attributable to environmental considerations and regulation; find that existing plants, equipment or products have been rendered obsolete by technical innovations; and be subject to increased costs because of the scarcity of certain fuels or the effects of man-made disasters. Existing and possible future regulations or legislation may make it difficult for utility companies to operate profitably. There is no assurance that regulatory authorities will, in the future, grant rate increases, or that such increases will be adequate to permit the payment of dividends on stocks issued by a utility company. Also, energy conservation and prolonged changes in climatic conditions may also have a significant impact on the revenues and expenses of utility companies. Government regulators monitor and control utility revenues and costs, and therefore may limit utility profits. The deregulation of certain utilities companies may eliminate restrictions on profits, but may also subject these companies to greater risks of loss.

Valuation Risk. The sales price the Fund could receive for a security may differ from the Fund’s valuation of the security and may differ from the value used by the Underlying Index, particularly for securities that trade in low volume or volatile markets or that are valued using a fair value methodology. Because non-U.S. stock exchanges may be open on days when the Fund does not price its shares, the value of the

 

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securities in the Fund’s portfolio may change on days when shareholders will not be able to purchase or sell the Fund’s shares. In addition, for purposes of calculating the Fund’s NAV, the value of assets denominated in non-U.S. currencies is converted into U.S. dollars using exchange rates deemed appropriate by BFA. This conversion may result in a difference between the prices used to calculate the Fund’s NAV and the prices used by the Underlying Index, which, in turn, could result in a difference between the Fund’s performance and the performance of the Underlying Index.

A Further Discussion of Other Risks

The Fund may also be subject to certain other risks associated with its investments and investment strategies.

Central and South American Economic Risk. The economies of certain Central and South American countries have experienced high interest rates, economic volatility, inflation, currency devaluations, government defaults and high unemployment rates. In addition, commodities (such as oil, gas and minerals) represent a significant percentage of exports for the regions and many economies in these regions are particularly sensitive to fluctuations in commodity prices. Adverse economic events in one country may have a significant adverse effect on other countries of these regions.

European Economic Risk. The Economic and Monetary Union (the “EMU”) of the European Union (the “EU”) requires member countries to comply with restrictions on inflation rates, deficits, interest rates, debt levels and fiscal and monetary controls, each of which may significantly affect every country in Europe. Decreasing imports or exports, changes in governmental or EU regulations on trade, changes in the exchange rate of the euro, the default or threat of default by an EU member country on its sovereign debt, and/or an economic recession in an EU member country may have a significant adverse effect on the economies of EU member countries and their trading partners. The European financial markets have recently experienced volatility and have been adversely affected by concerns about economic downturns, rising government debt levels and possible default on or restructuring of government debt in several European countries, including Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain. In addition, the credit ratings of certain European countries were recently downgraded. These downgrades may result in further deterioration of investor confidence in Europe and abroad. A default or debt restructuring by any European country would adversely impact holders of that country’s debt and sellers of credit default swaps linked to that country’s creditworthiness, which may be located in countries other than those listed above. These events have adversely affected the value and exchange rate of the euro and may continue to significantly affect the economies of every country in Europe, including EU member countries that do not use the euro and non-EU member countries.

Privately-Issued Securities Risk. The Fund may invest in privately-issued securities, including those that are normally purchased pursuant to Rule 144A or Regulation S of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “1933 Act”). Privately-issued securities typically may be resold only to qualified institutional buyers, or in a privately negotiated transaction, or to a limited number of purchasers, or in limited quantities after they have been held for a specified period of time and other conditions are met for an exemption from registration. Because there may be relatively few potential purchasers

 

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for such securities, especially under adverse markets or economic conditions or in the event of adverse changes in the financial condition of the issuer, the Fund may find it more difficult to sell such securities when it may be advisable to do so or it may be able to sell such securities only at prices lower than if such securities were more widely held and traded. At times, it also may be more difficult to determine the fair value of such securities for purposes of computing the Fund’s net asset value due to the absence of an active trading market. There can be no assurance that a privately-issued security that is deemed to be liquid when purchased will continue to be liquid for as long as it is held by the Fund.

Portfolio Holdings Information

A description of the Trust’s policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Fund’s portfolio securities is available in the Fund’s Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”). The top holdings of the Fund can be found at www.iShares.com. Fund fact sheets provide information regarding the Fund’s top holdings and may be requested by calling 1-800-iShares (1-800-474-2737).

Management

Investment Adviser. As investment adviser, BFA has overall responsibility for the general management and administration of the Trust. BFA provides an investment program for the Fund and manages the investment of the Fund’s assets. In managing the Fund, BFA may draw upon the research and expertise of its asset management affiliates with respect to certain portfolio securities. In seeking to achieve the Fund’s investment objective, BFA uses teams of portfolio managers, investment strategists and other investment specialists. This team approach brings together many disciplines and leverages BFA’s extensive resources.

Pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreement between BFA and the Trust (entered into on behalf of the Fund), BFA is responsible for substantially all expenses of the Fund, except interest expenses, taxes, brokerage expenses, future distribution fees or expenses and extraordinary expenses.

For its investment advisory services to the Fund, BFA is entitled to receive a management fee from the Fund based on a percentage of the Fund’s average daily net assets, at an annual rate of 0.20%.

BFA is located at 400 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. It is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of BlackRock, Inc. (“BlackRock”). As of March 31, 2012, BFA and its affiliates provided investment advisory services for assets in excess of $3.68 trillion. BFA and its affiliates deal, trade and invest for their own accounts in the types of securities in which the Fund may also invest.

A discussion regarding the basis for the Trust’s Board of Trustees’ (the “Board”) approval of the Investment Advisory Agreement with BFA is available in the Fund’s semi-annual report for the six-month period ended August 31.

Portfolio Managers. James Mauro and Scott Radell are primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund. Each Portfolio Manager is responsible for various functions related to portfolio management, including, but not limited to, investing cash

 

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inflows, coordinating with members of his portfolio management team to focus on certain asset classes, implementing investment strategy, researching and reviewing investment strategy and overseeing members of his portfolio management team that have more limited responsibilities.

James Mauro has been employed by BFA and BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A. (“BTC”) as a portfolio manager since 2011. Prior to that, Mr. Mauro was a Vice President at State Street Global Advisors. Mr. Mauro has been a Portfolio Manager of the Fund since 2011.

Scott Radell has been employed by BFA (formerly, Barclays Global Fund Advisors (“BGFA”)) and BTC (formerly, Barclays Global Investors, N.A. (“BGI”)) as a portfolio manager since 2004. Mr. Radell was a credit strategist from 2003 to 2004 and became a portfolio manager at BGFA and BGI in 2004. Mr. Radell has been a Portfolio Manager of the Fund since 2010.

The Fund’s SAI provides additional information about the Portfolio Managers’ compensation, other accounts managed by the Portfolio Managers and the Portfolio Managers’ ownership (if any) of shares in the Fund.

Administrator, Custodian and Transfer Agent. State Street Bank and Trust Company (“State Street”) is the administrator, custodian and transfer agent for the Fund.

Conflicts of Interest. BFA wants you to know that there are certain entities with which BFA has relationships that may give rise to conflicts of interest, or the appearance of conflicts of interest. These entities are BFA’s affiliates, including BlackRock and the PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., and each of their affiliates, directors, partners, trustees, managing members, officers and employees (collectively, the “Affiliates”).

The activities of BFA and the Affiliates in the management of, or their interest in, their own accounts and other accounts they manage, may present conflicts of interest that could disadvantage the Fund and its shareholders. BFA and its Affiliates provide investment management services to other funds and discretionary managed accounts that may follow an investment program similar to that of the Fund. BFA and its Affiliates are involved worldwide with a broad spectrum of financial services and asset management activities and may engage in the ordinary course of business in activities in which their interests or the interests of their clients may conflict with those of the Fund. BFA or one or more of the Affiliates acts, or may act, as an investor, investment banker, research provider, investment manager, financier, underwriter, advisor, market maker, trader, prime broker, lender, agent or principal, and have other direct and indirect interests, in securities, currencies and other instruments in which the Fund may directly or indirectly invest. Thus, it is likely that the Fund will have multiple business relationships with and will invest in, engage in transactions with, make voting decisions with respect to, or obtain services from, entities for which BFA or an Affiliate seeks to perform investment banking or other services.

BFA or one or more Affiliates may engage in proprietary trading and advise accounts and funds that have investment objectives similar to those of the Fund and/or that engage in and compete for transactions in the same types of securities, currencies and other instruments as the Fund, including in securities issued by other open-end and

 

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closed-end investment management companies, including investment companies that are affiliated with the Fund and BFA, to the extent permitted under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). The trading activities of BFA and these Affiliates are carried out without reference to positions held directly or indirectly by the Fund and may result in BFA or an Affiliate having positions that are adverse to those of the Fund.

No Affiliate is under any obligation to share any investment opportunity, idea or strategy with the Fund. As a result, an Affiliate may compete with the Fund for appropriate investment opportunities. As a result of this and several other factors, the results of the Fund’s investment activities may differ from those of an Affiliate and of other accounts managed by an Affiliate, and it is possible that the Fund could sustain losses during periods in which one or more Affiliates and other accounts achieve profits on their trading for proprietary or other accounts. The opposite result is also possible.

The Fund may, from time to time, enter into transactions in which BFA or an Affiliate’s clients have an interest adverse to the Fund. Furthermore, transactions undertaken by Affiliate-advised clients may adversely impact the Fund. Transactions by one or more Affiliate-advised clients or BFA may have the effect of diluting or otherwise disadvantaging the values, prices or investment strategies of the Fund.

The Fund’s activities may be limited because of regulatory restrictions applicable to one or more Affiliates, and/or their internal policies designed to comply with such restrictions. In addition, the Fund may invest in securities of companies with which an Affiliate has or is trying to develop investment banking relationships or in which an Affiliate has significant debt or equity investments. The Fund also may invest in securities of companies for which an Affiliate provides or may some day provide research coverage. An Affiliate may have business relationships with and purchase or distribute or sell services or products from or to distributors, consultants or others who recommend the Fund or who engage in transactions with or for the Fund, and may receive compensation for such services. The Fund may also make brokerage and other payments to Affiliates in connection with the Fund’s portfolio investment transactions.

Pursuant to a securities lending program approved by the Board, the Fund has retained an Affiliate of BFA to serve as the securities lending agent for the Fund to the extent that the Fund participates in the securities lending program. For these services, the lending agent may receive a fee from the Fund, including a fee based on the returns earned on the Fund’s investment of the cash received as collateral for any loaned securities. In addition, one or more Affiliates may be among the entities to which the Fund may lend its portfolio securities under the securities lending program.

The activities of BFA or the Affiliates may give rise to other conflicts of interest that could disadvantage the Fund and its shareholders. BFA has adopted policies and procedures designed to address these potential conflicts of interest. See the Fund’s SAI for further information.

Legal Proceedings. On January 18, 2013, a lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee by Laborers’ Local 265 Pension Fund and Plumbers and Pipefitters Local No. 572 Pension Fund against BFA, BTC, and the current members of the iShares Trust Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors of

 

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iShares, Inc. (collectively, “Defendants”) for alleged violations of, among other things, Sections 36(a) and 36(b) of the 1940 Act. The complaint purports to be brought derivatively on behalf of iShares Trust and iShares, Inc., as well as the following eight funds: iShares Russell MidCap Index Fund; iShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund; iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund; iShares Russell 2000 Growth Index Fund; iShares Russell 2000 Value Index Fund; iShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF; iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF; and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index Fund (the “Funds”). The complaint alleges, among other things, that BFA and BTC breached their fiduciary duties under the 1940 Act by charging allegedly excessive fees in connection with the provision of securities lending services to the Funds, that the individual defendants breached their fiduciary duties under the 1940 Act by approving those fee arrangements, and that the securities lending contracts are unenforceable under Section 47(b) of the 1940 Act. Plaintiffs seek injunctive relief, rescission of the securities lending contracts and, monetary damages of an unspecified amount. Defendants believe the claims are without merit and intend to vigorously defend themselves against the allegations in the lawsuit. On March 11, 2013, the Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

Shareholder Information

Additional shareholder information, including how to buy and sell shares of the Fund, is available free of charge by calling toll-free: 1-800-iShares (1-800-474-2737) or visiting our website at www.iShares.com.

Buying and Selling Shares. Shares of the Fund may be acquired or redeemed directly from the Fund only in Creation Units or multiples thereof, as discussed in the Creations and Redemptions section of this Prospectus. Only an Authorized Participant (as defined in the Creations and Redemptions section) may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the Fund. Once created, shares of the Fund generally trade in the secondary market in amounts less than a Creation Unit.

Shares of the Fund are listed on a national securities exchange for trading during the trading day. Shares can be bought and sold throughout the trading day like shares of other publicly traded companies. The Trust does not impose any minimum investment for shares of the Fund purchased on an exchange. The Fund’s shares trade under the trading symbol “CLY.”

Buying or selling Fund shares on an exchange involves two types of costs that may apply to all securities transactions. When buying or selling shares of the Fund through a broker, you will likely incur a brokerage commission or other charges determined by your broker. The commission is frequently a fixed amount and may be a significant proportional cost for investors seeking to buy or sell small amounts of shares. In addition, you may incur the cost of the “spread” – that is, any difference between the bid price and the ask price. The spread varies over time for shares of the Fund based on the Fund’s trading volume and market liquidity, and is generally lower if the Fund has a lot of trading volume and market liquidity, and higher if the Fund has little trading volume and market liquidity.

The Board has adopted a policy of not monitoring for frequent purchases and redemptions of Fund shares (“frequent trading”) that appear to attempt to take advantage of a potential arbitrage opportunity presented by a lag between a change in

 

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the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities after the close of the primary markets for the Fund’s portfolio securities and the reflection of that change in the Fund’s NAV (“market timing”), because the Fund generally sells and redeems its shares directly through transactions that are in-kind and/or for cash, subject to the conditions described below under Creations and Redemptions. The Board has not adopted a policy of monitoring for other frequent trading activity because shares of the Fund are listed for trading on a national securities exchange.

The national securities exchange on which the Fund’s shares are listed is open for trading Monday through Friday and is closed on weekends and the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The Fund’s primary listing exchange is NYSE Arca.

Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act restricts investments by investment companies in the securities of other investment companies. Registered investment companies are permitted to invest in the Fund beyond the limits set forth in Section 12(d)(1), subject to certain terms and conditions set forth in SEC rules or in an SEC exemptive order issued to the Trust. In order for a registered investment company to invest in shares of the Fund beyond the limitations of Section 12(d)(1) pursuant to the exemptive relief obtained by the Trust, the registered investment company must enter into an agreement with the Trust.

Book Entry. Shares of the Fund are held in book-entry form, which means that no stock certificates are issued. The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) or its nominee is the record owner of all outstanding shares of the Fund and is recognized as the owner of all shares for all purposes.

Investors owning shares of the Fund are beneficial owners as shown on the records of DTC or its participants. DTC serves as the securities depository for shares of the Fund. DTC participants include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and other institutions that directly or indirectly maintain a custodial relationship with DTC. As a beneficial owner of shares, you are not entitled to receive physical delivery of stock certificates or to have shares registered in your name, and you are not considered a registered owner of shares. Therefore, to exercise any right as an owner of shares, you must rely upon the procedures of DTC and its participants. These procedures are the same as those that apply to any other securities that you hold in book-entry or “street name” form.

Share Prices. The trading prices of the Fund’s shares in the secondary market generally differ from the Fund’s daily NAV and are affected by market forces such as supply and demand, economic conditions and other factors. Information regarding the intraday value of shares of the Fund, also known as the “indicative optimized portfolio value” (“IOPV”), is disseminated every 15 seconds throughout the trading day by the national securities exchange on which the Fund’s shares are listed or by market data vendors or other information providers. The IOPV is based on the current market value of the securities and/or cash required to be deposited in exchange for a Creation Unit. The IOPV does not necessarily reflect the precise composition of the current portfolio of securities held by the Fund at a particular point in time or the best possible valuation of the current portfolio. Therefore, the IOPV should not be viewed as a “real-time” update

 

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of the Fund’s NAV, which is computed only once a day. The IOPV is generally determined by using both current market quotations and/or price quotations obtained from broker-dealers that may trade in the portfolio securities held by the Fund. The quotations of certain Fund holdings may not be updated during U.S. trading hours if such holdings do not trade in the United States. The Fund is not involved in, or responsible for, the calculation or dissemination of the IOPV and makes no representation or warranty as to its accuracy.

Determination of Net Asset Value. The NAV of the Fund normally is determined once daily Monday through Friday, generally as of the regularly scheduled close of business of the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) (normally 4:00 p.m., Eastern time) on each day that the NYSE is open for trading, based on prices at the time of closing provided that (a) any Fund assets or liabilities denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar are translated into U.S. dollars at the prevailing market rates on the date of valuation as quoted by one or more data service providers and (b) U.S. fixed-income assets may be valued as of the announced closing time for trading in fixed-income instruments in a particular market or exchange. The NAV of the Fund is calculated by dividing the value of the net assets of the Fund (i.e., the value of its total assets less total liabilities) by the total number of outstanding shares of the Fund, generally rounded to the nearest cent.

The value of the securities and other assets and liabilities held by the Fund are determined pursuant to valuation policies and procedures approved by the Board. The Fund’s assets and liabilities are valued primarily on the basis of market quotations.

The Fund values fixed-income portfolio securities using prices provided directly from one or more broker-dealers, market makers, or independent third-party pricing services which may use matrix pricing and valuation models to derive values. Certain short-term debt securities may be valued on the basis of amortized cost.

Generally, trading in non-U.S. securities, U.S. government securities, money market instruments and certain fixed-income securities is substantially completed each day at various times prior to the close of business on the NYSE. The values of such securities used in computing the NAV of the Fund are determined as of such times.

When market quotations are not readily available or are believed by BFA to be unreliable, the Fund’s investments are valued at fair value. Fair value determinations are made by BFA in accordance with policies and procedures approved by the Fund’s Board. BFA may conclude that a market quotation is not readily available or is unreliable if a security or other asset or liability does not have a price source due to its lack of liquidity, if a market quotation differs significantly from recent price quotations or otherwise no longer appears to reflect fair value, where the security or other asset or liability is thinly traded, or where there is a significant event subsequent to the most recent market quotation. A “significant event” is an event that, in the judgment of BFA, is likely to cause a material change to the closing market price of the asset or liability held by the Fund. Non-U.S. securities whose values are affected by volatility that occurs in U.S. markets on a trading day after the close of non-U.S. securities markets may be fair valued.

Fair value represents a good faith approximation of the value of an asset or liability. The fair value of an asset or liability held by the Fund is the amount the Fund might

 

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reasonably expect to receive from the current sale of that asset or the cost to extinguish that liability in an arm’s-length transaction. Valuing the Fund’s investments using fair value pricing will result in prices that may differ from current market valuations and that may not be the prices at which those investments could have been sold during the period in which the particular fair values were used. Use of fair value prices and certain current market valuations could result in a difference between the prices used to calculate the Fund’s NAV and the prices used by the Underlying Index, which, in turn, could result in a difference between the Fund’s performance and the performance of the Underlying Index.

Dividends and Distributions

General Policies. Dividends from net investment income, if any, generally are declared and paid monthly by the Fund. Distributions of net realized securities gains, if any, generally are declared and paid once a year, but the Trust may make distributions on a more frequent basis for the Fund. The Trust reserves the right to declare special distributions if, in its reasonable discretion, such action is necessary or advisable to preserve its status as a regulated investment company (“RIC”) or to avoid imposition of income or excise taxes on undistributed income or realized gains.

Dividends and other distributions on shares of the Fund are distributed on a pro rata basis to beneficial owners of such shares. Dividend payments are made through DTC participants and indirect participants to beneficial owners then of record with proceeds received from the Fund.

Dividend Reinvestment Service. No dividend reinvestment service is provided by the Trust. Broker-dealers may make available the DTC book-entry Dividend Reinvestment Service for use by beneficial owners of the Fund for reinvestment of their dividend distributions. Beneficial owners should contact their broker to determine the availability and costs of the service and the details of participation therein. Brokers may require beneficial owners to adhere to specific procedures and timetables. If this service is available and used, dividend distributions of both income and realized gains will be automatically reinvested in additional whole shares of the Fund purchased in the secondary market.

Taxes. As with any investment, you should consider how your investment in shares of the Fund will be taxed. The tax information in this Prospectus is provided as general information, based on current law. You should consult your own tax professional about the tax consequences of an investment in shares of the Fund.

Unless your investment in Fund shares is made through a tax-exempt entity or tax-deferred retirement account, such as an individual retirement account, you need to be aware of the possible tax consequences when the Fund makes distributions or you sell Fund shares.

Taxes on Distributions. Distributions from the Fund’s net investment income, including distributions of income from securities lending and distributions out of the Fund’s net short-term capital gains, if any, are taxable to you as ordinary income. The Fund’s distributions of net long-term capital gains, if any, in excess of net short-term capital losses are taxable as long-term capital gains, regardless of how long you have held the shares. Distributions from the Fund will be subject to a 3.8% U.S. federal Medicare contribution tax on “net investment income,” beginning in 2013, for

 

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individuals with incomes exceeding $200,000 ($250,000 if married and filing jointly). Distributions from the Fund do not qualify for the lower tax rates applicable to qualified dividend income. In general, your distributions are subject to U.S. federal income tax for the year when they are paid. Certain distributions paid in January, however, may be treated as paid on December 31 of the prior year.

If the Fund’s distributions exceed current and accumulated earnings and profits, all or a portion of the distributions made in the taxable year may be recharacterized as a return of capital to shareholders. A return of capital distribution generally will not be taxable but will reduce the shareholder’s cost basis and will result in a higher capital gain or lower capital loss when those shares on which the distribution was received are sold. Once a shareholder’s cost basis is reduced to zero, further distributions will be treated as capital gain, if the shareholder holds shares of the Fund as capital assets.

Interest received by the Fund with respect to non-U.S. securities may give rise to withholding and other taxes imposed by non-U.S. countries. Tax conventions between certain countries and the U.S. may reduce or eliminate such taxes. If more than 50% of the total assets of the Fund at the close of a year consists of securities of non-U.S. corporations, the Fund may “pass through” to you certain non-U.S. income taxes (including withholding taxes) paid by the Fund. This means that you would be considered to have received as an additional dividend your share of such non-U.S. taxes, but you may be entitled to either a corresponding tax deduction in calculating your U.S. federal taxable income, or, subject to certain limitations, a credit in calculating your U.S. federal income tax.

If you are neither a resident nor a citizen of the United States or if you are a non-U.S. entity, the Fund’s ordinary income dividends (which include distributions of net short-term capital gains) will generally be subject to a 30% U.S. federal withholding tax, unless a lower treaty rate applies.

A 30% withholding tax will be imposed on dividends paid after December 31, 2013, and redemption proceeds paid after December 31, 2014, to (i) foreign financial institutions, including non-U.S. investment funds, unless they agree to collect and disclose to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) information regarding their direct and indirect U.S. account holders and (ii) certain other foreign entities, unless they certify certain information regarding their direct and indirect U.S. owners. To avoid withholding, foreign financial institutions will need to enter into agreements with the IRS that state that they will provide the IRS information, including the name, address and taxpayer identification number of direct and indirect U.S. account holders; comply with due diligence procedures with respect to the identification of U.S. accounts; report to the IRS certain information with respect to U.S. accounts maintained; agree to withhold tax on certain payments made to non-compliant foreign financial institutions or to account holders who fail to provide the required information; and determine certain other information as to their account holders. Other foreign entities will need to provide the name, address, and taxpayer identification number of each substantial U.S. owner or certifications of no substantial U.S. ownership, unless certain exceptions apply.

If you are a resident or a citizen of the United States, by law, back-up withholding will apply to your distributions and proceeds if you have not provided a taxpayer identification number or social security number and made other required certifications.

 

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Taxes When Shares are Sold. Currently, any capital gain or loss realized upon a sale of Fund shares is generally treated as a long-term gain or loss if the shares have been held for more than one year. Any capital gain or loss realized upon a sale of Fund shares held for one year or less is generally treated as short-term gain or loss, except that any capital loss on the sale of shares held for six months or less is treated as long-term capital loss to the extent that capital gain dividends were paid with respect to such shares. Beginning in 2013, any such capital gains, including from sales of Fund shares or from capital gain dividends, will be included in “net investment income” for purposes of the 3.8% U.S. federal Medicare contribution tax mentioned above.

The foregoing discussion summarizes some of the consequences under current U.S. federal tax law of an investment in the Fund. It is not a substitute for personal tax advice. You may also be subject to state and local taxation on Fund distributions and sales of shares. Consult your personal tax adviser about the potential tax consequences of an investment in shares of the Fund under all applicable tax laws.

Creations and Redemptions. Prior to trading in the secondary market, shares of the Fund are “created” at NAV by market makers, large investors and institutions only in block-size Creation Units of 100,000 shares or multiples thereof. Each “creator” or “Authorized Participant” enters into an authorized participant agreement with the Fund’s distributor, BlackRock Investments, LLC (the “Distributor”), an affiliate of BFA.

A creation transaction, which is subject to acceptance by the transfer agent, generally takes place when an Authorized Participant deposits into the Fund a designated portfolio of securities (including any portion of such securities for which cash may be substituted) (“Deposit Securities”) and a specified amount of cash approximating the holdings of the Fund in exchange for a specified number of Creation Units. To the extent practicable, the composition of such portfolio generally corresponds pro rata to the holdings of the Fund.

Similarly, shares can be redeemed only in Creation Units, generally for a designated portfolio of securities (including any portion of such securities for which cash may be substituted) held by the Fund (“Fund Securities”) and a specified amount of cash. Except when aggregated in Creation Units, shares are not redeemable by the Fund.

The prices at which creations and redemptions occur are based on the next calculation of NAV after a creation or redemption order is received in an acceptable form under the authorized participant agreement.

The portfolio of securities required for purchase of a Creation Unit may be different than the portfolio of securities the Fund will deliver upon redemption of Fund shares. The Deposit Securities and Fund Securities, as applicable, in connection with a purchase or redemption of a Creation Unit, generally will correspond pro rata, to the extent practicable, to the securities held by the Fund.

Only an Authorized Participant may create or redeem Creation Units directly with the Fund.

To the extent the Fund engages in in-kind transactions, the Fund intends to comply with the U.S. federal securities laws in accepting securities for deposit and satisfying redemptions with redemption securities by, among other means, assuring that any

 

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securities accepted for deposit and any securities used to satisfy redemption requests will be sold in transactions that would be exempt from registration under the 1933 Act. Further, an Authorized Participant that is not a “qualified institutional buyer,” as such term is defined under Rule 144A of the 1933 Act, will not be able to receive securities that are restricted securities eligible for resale under Rule 144A.

Creations and redemptions must be made through a firm that is either a member of the Continuous Net Settlement System of the National Securities Clearing Corporation or a DTC participant and has executed an agreement with the Distributor with respect to creations and redemptions of Creation Unit aggregations. Information about the procedures regarding creation and redemption of Creation Units (including the cut-off times for receipt of creation and redemption orders) is included in the Fund’s SAI.

Because new shares may be created and issued on an ongoing basis, at any point during the life of the Fund a “distribution,” as such term is used in the 1933 Act, may be occurring. Broker-dealers and other persons are cautioned that some activities on their part may, depending on the circumstances, result in their being deemed participants in a distribution in a manner that could render them statutory underwriters and subject to the prospectus delivery and liability provisions of the 1933 Act. Any determination of whether one is an underwriter must take into account all the relevant facts and circumstances of each particular case.

Broker-dealers should also note that dealers who are not “underwriters” but are participating in a distribution (as contrasted to ordinary secondary transactions), and thus dealing with shares that are part of an “unsold allotment” within the meaning of Section 4(3)(C) of the 1933 Act, would be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(3) of the 1933 Act. For delivery of prospectuses to exchange members, the prospectus delivery mechanism of Rule 153 under the 1933 Act is available only with respect to transactions on a national securities exchange.

Costs Associated with Creations and Redemptions. Authorized Participants are charged standard creation and redemption transaction fees to offset transfer and other transaction costs associated with the issuance and redemption of Creation Units. The standard creation and redemption transaction fees are set forth in the table below. The standard creation transaction fee is charged to the Authorized Participant on the day such Authorized Participant creates a Creation Unit, and is the same regardless of the number of Creation Units purchased by the Authorized Participant on the applicable business day. Similarly, the standard redemption transaction fee is charged to the Authorized Participant on the day such Authorized Participant redeems a Creation Unit, and is the same regardless of the number of Creation Units redeemed by the Authorized Participant on the applicable business day. Creations and redemptions for cash (when cash creations and redemptions (in whole or in part) are available or specified) are also subject to an additional charge (up to the maximum amounts shown in the table below). This charge is intended to compensate for brokerage, tax, foreign exchange, execution, market impact and other costs and expenses related to cash transactions. Investors who use the services of a broker or other financial intermediary may pay fees for such services.

 

 

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The following table shows, as of April 30, 2012, the approximate value of one Creation Unit, standard fees and maximum additional charges for creations and redemptions (as described above):

 

Approximate
Value of a
Creation Unit

 

Creation
Unit Size

 

Standard
Creation/
Redemption
Transaction Fee

 

Maximum Additional
Charge for
Creations*

 

Maximum Additional
Charge for
Redemptions*

$5,887,000   100,000   $300   3.0%   2.0%

 

 

  * As a percentage of the net asset value per Creation Unit, inclusive, in the case of redemptions, of the standard redemption transaction fee.

Householding. Householding is an option available to certain Fund investors. Householding is a method of delivery, based on the preference of the individual investor, in which a single copy of certain shareholder documents can be delivered to investors who share the same address, even if their accounts are registered under different names. Please contact your broker-dealer if you are interested in enrolling in householding and receiving a single copy of prospectuses and other shareholder documents, or if you are currently enrolled in householding and wish to change your householding status.

Distribution

The Distributor distributes Creation Units for the Fund on an agency basis. The Distributor does not maintain a secondary market in shares of the Fund. The Distributor has no role in determining the policies of the Fund or the securities that are purchased or sold by the Fund. The Distributor’s principal address is 525 Washington Boulevard, Suite 1405, Jersey City, NJ 07310.

In addition, BFA or its Affiliates make payments to broker-dealers, registered investment advisors, banks or other intermediaries (together, “intermediaries”) related to marketing activities and presentations, educational training programs, conferences, the development of technology platforms and reporting systems, or their making shares of the Fund and certain other iShares funds available to their customers generally and in certain investment programs. Such payments, which may be significant to the intermediary, are not made by the Fund. Rather, such payments are made by BFA or its Affiliates from their own resources, which come directly or indirectly in part from fees paid by the iShares funds complex. Payments of this type are sometimes referred to as revenue-sharing payments. A financial intermediary may make decisions about which investment options it recommends or makes available, or the level of services provided, to its customers based on the payments it is eligible to receive. Therefore, such payments to an intermediary create conflicts of interest between the intermediary and its customers and may cause the intermediary to recommend the Fund or other iShares funds over another investment. More information regarding these payments is contained in the Fund’s SAI. Please contact your salesperson or other investment professional for more information regarding any such payments his or her firm may receive from BFA or its Affiliates.

 

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Financial Highlights

The financial highlights table is intended to help investors understand the Fund’s financial performance since inception. Certain information reflects financial results for a single share of the Fund. The total returns in the table represent the rate that an investor would have earned (or lost) on an investment in the Fund, assuming reinvestment of all dividends and distributions. This information has been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, whose report is included, along with the Fund’s financial statements, in the Fund’s Annual Report (available upon request).

Financial Highlights

(For a share outstanding throughout each period)

 

    

Year ended
Feb. 29, 2012

   

Year ended
Feb. 28, 2011

   

Period from
Dec. 8, 2009a
to
Feb. 28, 2010

 

Net asset value, beginning of period

   $ 52.53      $ 50.60      $ 50.63   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Income from investment operations:

      

Net investment incomeb

     2.72        2.88        0.65   

Net realized and unrealized gain (loss)c

     6.88        1.85        (0.28
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total from investment operations

     9.60        4.73        0.37   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Less distributions from:

      

Net investment income

     (2.62     (2.80     (0.40
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total distributions

     (2.62     (2.80     (0.40
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net asset value, end of period

   $ 59.51      $ 52.53      $ 50.60   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total return

     18.81     9.62     0.68 %d 
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Ratios/Supplemental data:

      

Net assets, end of period (000s)

   $ 196,391      $ 21,014      $ 10,120   

Ratio of expenses to average net assetse

     0.20     0.20     0.20

Ratio of net investment income to average net assetse

     4.79     5.47     5.79

Portfolio turnover ratef

     6     37     2

 

 

  a

Commencement of operations.

  b

Based on average shares outstanding throughout each period.

  c

The amounts reported for a share outstanding may not accord with the change in aggregate gains and losses in securities for the fiscal period due to the timing of capital share transactions in relation to the fluctuating market values of the Fund’s underlying securities.

  d

Not annualized.

  e

Annualized for periods of less than one year.

  f 

Portfolio turnover rates exclude portfolio securities received or delivered as a result of processing capital share transactions in Creation Units.

 

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Index Provider

BofA Merrill Lynch compiles and publishes the Underlying Index. BFA or its affiliates has entered into a license agreement with the Index Provider to use the Underlying Index. Under the terms of the license agreement, the Trust is permitted to use the Underlying Index at no charge. BofA Merrill Lynch is not affiliated with the Trust, BFA, State Street, or the Distributor.

Disclaimers

“BofA Merrill Lynch” and the Underlying Index are reprinted with permission. (c)Copyright 2012 Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (“BofA Merrill Lynch”). All rights reserved. The Fund is not issued, sponsored, endorsed or promoted by BofA Merrill Lynch, any affiliate of BofA Merrill Lynch or any other party involved in, or related to, making or compiling the BofA Merrill Lynch Indexes. The BofA Merrill Lynch Indexes are the exclusive property of BofA Merrill Lynch and/or its affiliates. “BofA Merrill Lynch” and “the BofA Merrill Lynch 10+ Year US Corporate & Yankees IndexSM” are service marks of BofA Merrill Lynch and/or its affiliates and have been licensed for use for certain purposes by BFA or its affiliates on behalf of the Fund. Neither BofA Merrill Lynch, any affiliate of BofA Merrill Lynch nor any other party involved in, or related to, making or compiling the BofA Merrill Lynch Indexes makes any representation or warranty, express or implied, to the shareholders of the Fund or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally or in the Fund particularly or the ability of the Underlying Index to track the corresponding market performance. BofA Merrill Lynch is the licensor of certain trademarks, trade names and service marks of BofA Merrill Lynch and/or its affiliates and of the Underlying Index, which is determined, composed and calculated by BofA Merrill Lynch and/or its affiliates without regard to BFA or its affiliates, the Fund or the shareholders of the Fund. Neither BofA Merrill Lynch, any affiliate of BofA Merrill Lynch nor any other party involved in, or related to, making or compiling the Underlying Index has an obligation to take the needs of BFA or its affiliates, the Fund or the shareholders of the Fund into consideration in determining, composing or calculating the Underlying Index. None of BofA Merrill Lynch or any of its affiliates has the obligation to continue to provide the Underlying Index to BFA or its affiliates or the Fund beyond the applicable license term. Neither BofA Merrill Lynch, any affiliate of BofA Merrill Lynch nor any other party involved in, or related to, making or compiling the Underlying Index is responsible for or has participated in the determination of the timing, pricing, or quantities of the Fund to be issued or in the determination or calculation of the equation by which the Fund is to be redeemable for cash. Neither BofA Merrill Lynch, any affiliate of BofA Merrill Lynch nor any other party involved in, or related to, making or compiling the Underlying Index has any obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of shares of the Fund.

BofA Merrill Lynch and its affiliates do not provide investment advice to BFA or its affiliates or the Fund and are not responsible for the performance of the Fund.

 

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NEITHER BOFA MERRILL LYNCH, ANY AFFILIATE OF BOFA MERRILL LYNCH NOR ANY OTHER PARTY INVOLVED IN, OR RELATED TO, MAKING OR COMPILING THE UNDERLYING INDEX WARRANTS OR GUARANTEES THE ACCURACY AND/OR THE COMPLETENESS OF THE UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN AND/OR PROVIDED THEREWITH AND SHALL HAVE NO LIABILITY FOR ANY ERRORS, OMISSIONS, OR INTERRUPTIONS THEREIN. NEITHER BOFA MERRILL LYNCH, ANY AFFILIATE OF BOFA MERRILL LYNCH NOR ANY OTHER PARTY INVOLVED IN, OR RELATED TO, MAKING OR COMPILING THE UNDERLYING INDEX MAKES ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED BY BFA OR ITS AFFILIATES, THE FUND, SHAREHOLDERS OF THE FUND, OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY FROM THE USE OF THE UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. NEITHER BOFA MERRILL LYNCH, ANY AFFILIATE OF BOFA MERRILL LYNCH NOR ANY OTHER PARTY INVOLVED IN, OR RELATED TO, MAKING OR COMPILING THE UNDERLYING INDEX MAKES ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE WITH RESPECT TO THE UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN AND/OR PROVIDED THEREWITH. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT SHALL BOFA MERRILL LYNCH, ANY AFFILIATE OF BOFA MERRILL LYNCH OR ANY OTHER PARTY INVOLVED IN, OR RELATED TO, MAKING OR COMPILING THE UNDERLYING INDEX HAVE ANY LIABILITY FOR DIRECT, INDIRECT, PUNITIVE, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR ANY OTHER DAMAGES OR LOSSES (INCLUDING LOST PROFITS), EVEN IF NOTIFIED OF THE POSSIBILITY THEREOF. THERE ARE NO THIRD PARTY BENEFICIARIES OF ANY AGREEMENTS OR ARRANGEMENTS BETWEEN BOFA MERRILL LYNCH AND BFA OR ITS AFFILIATES.

No purchaser, seller or holder of this security, or any other person or entity, should use or refer to any BofA Merrill Lynch trade name, trademark or service mark to sponsor, endorse, market or promote this product without first contacting BofA Merrill Lynch to determine whether BofA Merrill Lynch’s permission is required. Under no circumstances may any person or entity claim any affiliation with BofA Merrill Lynch without the written permission of BofA Merrill Lynch.

Shares of the Fund are not sponsored, endorsed or promoted by NYSE Arca. NYSE Arca makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of the shares of the Fund or any member of the public regarding the ability of the Fund to track the total return performance of the Underlying Index or the ability of the Underlying Index to track stock market performance. NYSE Arca is not responsible for, nor has it participated in, the determination of the compilation or the calculation of the Underlying Index, nor in the determination of the timing of, prices of, or quantities of shares of the Fund to be issued, nor in the determination or calculation of the equation by which the shares are redeemable. NYSE Arca has no obligation or liability to owners of the shares of the Fund in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the shares of the Fund.

 

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NYSE Arca does not guarantee the accuracy and/or the completeness of the Underlying Index or any data included therein. NYSE Arca makes no warranty, express or implied, as to results to be obtained by the Trust on behalf of the Fund as licensee, licensee’s customers and counterparties, owners of the shares of the Fund, or any other person or entity from the use of the subject index or any data included therein in connection with the rights licensed as described herein or for any other use. NYSE Arca makes no express or implied warranties and hereby expressly disclaims all warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose with respect to the Underlying Index or any data included therein. Without limiting any of the foregoing, in no event shall NYSE Arca have any liability for any direct, indirect, special, punitive, consequential or any other damages (including lost profits) even if notified of the possibility of such damages.

BFA does not guarantee the accuracy or the completeness of the Underlying Index or any data included therein and BFA shall have no liability for any errors, omissions or interruptions therein.

BFA makes no warranty, express or implied, to the owners of shares of the Fund or to any other person or entity, as to results to be obtained by the Fund from the use of the Underlying Index or any data included therein. BFA makes no express or implied warranties and expressly disclaims all warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose or use with respect to the Underlying Index or any data included therein. Without limiting any of the foregoing, in no event shall BFA have any liability for any special, punitive, direct, indirect or consequential damages (including lost profits), even if notified of the possibility of such damages.

 

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Supplemental Information

I. Premium/Discount Information

The table that follows presents information about the differences between the daily market price on secondary markets for shares of the Fund and the Fund’s NAV. NAV is the price at which the Fund issues and redeems shares. It is calculated in accordance with the standard formula for valuing mutual fund shares. The price used to calculate market returns (“Market Price”) of the Fund generally is determined using the midpoint between the highest bid and the lowest offer on the primary securities exchange on which shares of the Fund are listed for trading, as of the time that the Fund’s NAV is calculated. The Fund’s Market Price may be at, above or below its NAV. The NAV of the Fund will fluctuate with changes in the value of its portfolio holdings. The Market Price of the Fund will fluctuate in accordance with changes in its NAV, as well as market supply and demand.

Premiums or discounts are the differences (expressed as a percentage) between the NAV and Market Price of the Fund on a given day, generally at the time the NAV is calculated. A premium is the amount that the Fund is trading above the reported NAV, expressed as a percentage of the NAV. A discount is the amount that the Fund is trading below the reported NAV, expressed as a percentage of the NAV.

The following information shows the frequency of distributions of premiums and discounts for the Fund for each full calendar quarter of 2011 through March 31, 2012.

Each line in the table shows the number of trading days in which the Fund traded within the premium/discount range indicated. The number of trading days in each premium/ discount range is also shown as a percentage of the total number of trading days in the period covered by the table. All data presented here represents past performance, which cannot be used to predict future results.

 

Premium/Discount Range

   Number of Days        Percentage of Total Days  
Greater than 3.0%      1           0.32%   
Greater than 2.5% and Less than 3.0%      6           1.91     
Greater than 2.0% and Less than 2.5%      47           14.97     
Greater than 1.5% and Less than 2.0%      69           21.97     
Greater than 1.0% and Less than 1.5%      41           13.06     
Greater than 0.5% and Less than 1.0%      72           22.93     
Between 0.5% and -0.5%      74           23.57     
Less than -0.5% and Greater than -1.0%      4           1.27     
  

 

 

      

 

 

 
     314           100.00%   
  

 

 

      

 

 

 

 

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II. Total Return Information

The table that follows presents information about the total returns of the Fund and the Underlying Index as of the fiscal year ended February 29, 2012.

“Average Annual Total Returns” represent the average annual change in value of an investment over the periods indicated. “Cumulative Total Returns” represent the total change in value of an investment over the period indicated.

The Fund’s NAV is the value of one share of the Fund as calculated in accordance with the standard formula for valuing mutual fund shares. The NAV return is based on the NAV of the Fund and the market return is based on the Market Price of the Fund. Market Price is determined by using the midpoint between the highest bid and the lowest offer on the primary stock exchange on which shares of the Fund are listed for trading, as of the time that the Fund’s NAV is calculated. Since shares of the Fund did not trade in the secondary market until after the Fund’s inception, for the period from inception to the first day of secondary market trading in shares of the Fund, the NAV of the Fund is used as a proxy for the Market Price to calculate market returns. Market and NAV returns assume that dividends and capital gain distributions have been reinvested in the Fund at Market Price and NAV, respectively.

An index is a statistical composite that tracks a specified financial market or sector. Unlike the Fund, the Underlying Index does not actually hold a portfolio of securities and therefore does not incur the expenses incurred by the Fund. These expenses negatively impact the performance of the Fund. Also, market returns do not include brokerage commissions that may be payable on secondary market transactions. If brokerage commissions were included, market returns would be lower. The returns shown in the following tables do not reflect the deduction of taxes that a shareholder would pay on Fund distributions or the redemption or sale of Fund shares. The investment return and principal value of shares of the Fund will vary with changes in market conditions. Shares of the Fund may be worth more or less than their original cost when they are redeemed or sold in the market. The Fund’s past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Performance as of February 29, 2012

 

Average Annual Total Returns   Cumulative Total Returns
Year Ended 2/29/12   Inception to 2/29/12*   Inception to 2/29/12*
NAV   MARKET   INDEX   NAV   MARKET   INDEX   NAV   MARKET   INDEX
18.81%   18.23%   18.01%   12.92%   12.79%   13.27%   31.12%   30.78%   32.01%

 

 

  * Total returns for the period since inception are calculated from the inception date of the Fund (12/8/09). The first day of secondary market trading in shares of the Fund was 12/9/09.

 

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LOGO

 

 

 

For more information visit www.iShares.com or call 1-800-474-2737

Copies of the Prospectus, SAI and recent shareholder reports can be found on our website at www.iShares.com. For more information about the Fund, you may request a copy of the SAI. The SAI provides detailed information about the Fund and is incorporated by reference into this Prospectus. This means that the SAI, for legal purposes, is a part of this Prospectus.

Additional information about the Fund’s investments is available in the Fund’s Annual and Semi-Annual reports to shareholders. In the Fund’s Annual Report, you will find a discussion of the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected the Fund’s performance during the last fiscal year.

If you have any questions about the Trust or shares of the Fund or you wish to obtain the SAI, Semi-Annual or Annual report free of charge, please:

 

  Call: 1-800-iShares or 1-800-474-2737 (toll free) Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (Eastern time)

 

  Email: iSharesETFs@blackrock.com

 

  Write: c/o BlackRock Investments, LLC 525 Washington Boulevard, Suite 1405, Jersey City, NJ 07310

Information about the Fund (including the SAI) can be reviewed and copied at the SEC’s Public Reference Room in Washington, D.C., and information on the operation of the Public Reference Room may be obtained by calling the SEC at 1-202-551-8090. Reports and other information about the Fund are available on the EDGAR database on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov, and copies of this information may be obtained, after paying a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the following e-mail address: publicinfo@sec.gov, or by writing to the SEC’s Public Reference Section, Washington, D.C. 20549-1520.

No person is authorized to give any information or to make any representations about the Fund and its shares not contained in this Prospectus and you should not rely on any other information. Read and keep the Prospectus for future reference.

Investment Company Act File No.: 811-09729

 

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IS-P-CLY-0413


Table of Contents
LOGO   

August 1, 2012

(as revised April 15, 2013)

2012 Prospectus

 

iShares 2013 S&P AMT-Free Municipal Series

MUAB • NYSE ARCA

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has not approved or disapproved these securities or passed upon the adequacy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

 

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Table of Contents

 

Fund Overview      S-1   
More Information About the Fund      1   
A Further Discussion of Principal Risks      2   
Portfolio Holdings Information      7   
Management      7   
Shareholder Information      10   
Distribution      18   
Financial Highlights      19   
Index Provider      20   
Disclaimers      20   
Supplemental Information      22   

 

“STANDARD & POOR’S®,” “S&P®,” “S&P INDICES®” and “S&P AMT-Free Municipal Series 2013 IndexTM” are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and have been licensed for use by BlackRock Fund Advisors or its affiliates. iShares® is a registered trademark of BlackRock Fund Advisors or its affiliates.

 

 

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iSHARES® 2013 S&P AMT-FREE MUNICIPAL SERIES

 

Ticker: MUAB   Stock Exchange: NYSE Arca

Investment Objective

The iShares 2013 S&P AMT-Free Municipal Series (the “Fund”) seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the S&P AMT-Free Municipal Series 2013 IndexTM (the “Underlying Index”). The Fund does not seek to return any predetermined amount at maturity.

Fees and Expenses

The following table describes the fees and expenses that you will incur if you own shares of the Fund. The investment advisory agreement between iShares Trust (the “Trust”) and BlackRock Fund Advisors (“BFA”) (the “Investment Advisory Agreement”) provides that BFA will pay all operating expenses of the Fund, except interest expenses, taxes, brokerage expenses, future distribution fees or expenses, and extraordinary expenses.

You may also incur usual and customary brokerage commissions when buying or selling shares of the Fund, which are not reflected in the example that follows:

 

Annual Fund Operating Expenses
(ongoing expenses that you pay each year as a
percentage of the value of your investments)

Management
Fees

 

Distribution and
Service (12b-1)
Fees

 

Other
Expenses

 

Total Annual
Fund
Operating
Expenses

0.30%   None   None   0.30%

Example. This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of owning shares of the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then sell all of your shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions, your costs would be:

 

1 Year

 

3 Years

 

5 Years

 

10 Years

$31   $97   $169   $381

Portfolio Turnover. The Fund may pay transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Fund shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in Annual Fund Operating Expenses or in the Example, affect the Fund’s performance. During the most recent fiscal year, the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate was 1% of the average value of its portfolio.

 

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Principal Investment Strategies

The Underlying Index measures the performance of investment-grade, noncallable U.S. municipal bonds maturing in 2013. As of March 31, 2012 there were 3,462 issues in the Underlying Index.

The Underlying Index includes municipal bonds primarily from issuers that are state or local governments or agencies (including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and U.S. territories such as the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam) such that the interest on the bonds is exempt from U.S. federal income taxes and the federal alternative minimum tax (“AMT”). Each bond must have a rating of at least BBB- by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, Baa3 by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”), or BBB- by Fitch, Inc. and must have a minimum maturity par amount of $2 million to be eligible for inclusion in the Underlying Index. To remain in the Underlying Index, bonds must maintain a minimum par amount greater than or equal to $2 million as of each rebalancing date. All bonds in the Underlying Index will mature between June 1 and August 31 of the year referenced in the name of the Underlying Index. When a bond matures in the Underlying Index, an amount representing its value at maturity will be included in the Underlying Index throughout the remaining life of the Underlying Index, and any such amount will be assumed to earn a rate equal to the performance of the Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC’s, a subsidiary of The McGraw-Hill Companies (“S&P”), Weekly High Grade Index, which consists of Moody’s Investment Grade-1 municipal tax-exempt notes that are not subject to federal AMT. The Underlying Index is a market value weighted index and is rebalanced after the close on the last business day of each month.

BFA uses a “passive” or indexing approach to try to achieve the Fund’s investment objective. Unlike many investment companies, the Fund does not try to “beat” the index it tracks and does not seek temporary defensive positions when markets decline or appear overvalued.

Indexing may eliminate the chance that the Fund will substantially outperform the Underlying Index but also may reduce some of the risks of active management, such as poor security selection. Indexing seeks to achieve lower costs and better after-tax performance by keeping portfolio turnover low in comparison to actively managed investment companies.

BFA uses a representative sampling indexing strategy to manage the Fund. “Representative sampling” is an indexing strategy that involves investing in a representative sample of securities that collectively has an investment profile similar to the Underlying Index.

The securities selected are expected to have, in the aggregate, investment characteristics (based on factors such as market capitalization and industry weightings), fundamental characteristics (such as return variability, duration, maturity or credit ratings and yield) and liquidity measures similar to those of the Underlying Index. The Fund may or may not hold all of the securities in the Underlying Index.

The Fund generally invests at least 80% of its assets in the securities of its Underlying Index, except during the last months of the Fund’s operations, as

 

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described below. The Fund may invest the remainder of its assets in cash and cash equivalents (including money market funds affiliated with BFA), as well as in municipal bonds not included in the Underlying Index, but which BFA believes will help the Fund track its Underlying Index. The Fund will generally hold municipal bond securities issued by state and local municipalities whose interest payments are exempt from U.S. federal income tax, the federal AMT and, effective beginning in 2013, a federal Medicare contribution tax of 3.8% on “net investment income,” including dividends, interest and capital gains. In addition, the Fund may invest any cash assets in one or more affiliated municipal money market funds. In the last months of operation, as the bonds held by the Fund mature, the proceeds will not be reinvested in bonds but instead will be held in cash and cash equivalents, including, without limitation, AMT-free tax-exempt municipal notes, variable rate demand notes and obligations, tender option bonds and municipal commercial paper. These cash equivalents may not be included in the Underlying Index. By August 31, 2013, the Underlying Index is expected to consist entirely of cash earned in this manner. Around the same time, the Fund will wind up and terminate, and its net assets will be distributed to then-current shareholders.

The Fund may lend securities representing up to one-third of the value of the Fund’s total assets (including the value of the collateral received).

The Underlying Index is sponsored by an organization (the “Index Provider”) that is independent of the Fund and BFA. The Index Provider determines the composition and relative weightings of the securities in the Underlying Index and publishes information regarding the market value of the Underlying Index. The Fund’s Index Provider is S&P.

Industry Concentration Policy. The Fund will concentrate its investments (i.e., hold 25% or more of its total assets) in a particular industry or group of industries, to approximately the same extent that the Underlying Index is concentrated. For purposes of this limitation, securities of the U.S. government (including its agencies and instrumentalities), repurchase agreements collateralized by U.S. government securities, and securities of state or municipal governments and their political subdivisions are not considered to be issued by members of any industry.

Summary of Principal Risks

As with any investment, you could lose all or part of your investment in the Fund, and the Fund’s performance could trail that of other investments. The Fund is subject to the principal risks noted below, any of which may adversely affect the Fund’s net asset value per share (“NAV”), trading price, yield, total return and ability to meet its investment objective.

Asset Class Risk. Securities in the Underlying Index or in the Fund’s portfolio may underperform in comparison to the general securities markets or other asset classes.

Concentration Risk. To the extent that the Fund’s investments are concentrated in a particular state, region, municipality, market, project type or asset class, the Fund may be susceptible to loss due to adverse occurrences affecting that state, region,

 

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municipality, market, project type or asset class.

Credit Risk. The Fund is subject to the risk that debt issuers and other counterparties may not honor their obligations or may have their debt downgraded by ratings agencies.

Declining Yield Risk. During the final three months prior to the Fund’s planned termination date, its yield will generally tend to move toward prevailing tax-exempt money market rates, and may be lower than the yields of the bonds previously held by the Fund and lower than prevailing yields for bonds in the market.

Fluctuation of Yield and Liquidation Amount Risk. The Fund, unlike a direct investment in a municipal bond that has a level coupon payment and a fixed payment at maturity, will make distributions of income that vary over time. It is expected that an investment in the Fund, if held through maturity, will produce aggregate returns comparable to a direct investment in municipal bonds of similar credit quality and maturity. Unlike a direct investment in municipal bonds, the breakdown of returns between Fund distributions and liquidation proceeds are not predictable at the time of your investment. For example, at times during the Fund’s existence it may make distributions at a greater (or lesser) rate than the coupon payments received on the Fund’s portfolio, which will result in the Fund returning a lesser (or greater) amount on liquidation than would otherwise be the case. The rate of Fund distribution payments may adversely affect the tax characterization of your returns from an investment in the Fund relative to a direct investment in municipal bonds. If the amount you receive as liquidation proceeds upon the Fund’s termination is higher or lower than your cost basis, you may experience a gain or loss for tax purposes.

Income Risk. The Fund’s income may decline when interest rates fall. This decline can occur because the Fund must invest in lower-yielding bonds as bonds in its portfolio mature, bonds in the Underlying Index are substituted or the Fund otherwise needs to purchase additional bonds.

Interest Rate Risk. An increase in interest rates may cause the value of fixed-income securities held by the Fund to decline.

Issuer Risk. Fund performance depends on the performance of individual securities to which the Fund has exposure. The Fund invests in municipal bonds of issuers that are primarily state or local governments or agencies. Changes to the financial condition or credit rating of an issuer of those securities may cause the value of the securities to decline.

Liquidity Risk. Liquidity risk exists when particular investments are difficult to purchase or sell. This can reduce the Fund’s returns because the Fund may be unable to transact at advantageous times or prices. The Fund invests a significant portion of its portfolio in municipal securities, which may be less liquid than taxable bonds.

Management Risk. As the Fund may not fully replicate the Underlying Index, it is subject to the risk that BFA’s investment management strategy may not produce the intended results.

Market Risk. The Fund could lose money over short periods due to short-term market movements and over longer periods during market

 

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downturns. The recent financial crisis has caused a decrease in the value and liquidity of many securities, including certain municipal securities, and has adversely affected many issuers of municipal securities and may continue to do so.

Market Trading Risk. The Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including the potential lack of an active market for Fund shares, losses from trading in secondary markets, periods of high volatility and disruption in the creation/redemption process of the Fund. ANY OF THESE FACTORS, AMONG OTHERS, MAY LEAD TO THE FUND’S SHARES TRADING AT A PREMIUM OR DISCOUNT TO NAV.

Municipal Securities Risk. Municipal securities can be significantly affected by political or economic changes as well as uncertainties in the municipal market related to taxation, legislative changes or the rights of municipal security holders. Municipal securities backed by current or anticipated revenues from a specific project or specific assets can be negatively affected by the inability to collect revenues for the project or from the assets.

Non-Diversification Risk. The Fund may invest a large percentage of its assets in securities issued by or representing a small number of issuers. As a result, the Fund’s performance may depend on the performance of a small number of issuers.

Passive Investment Risk. The Fund is not actively managed and BFA does not attempt to take defensive positions under any market conditions, including declining markets.

Securities Lending Risk. The Fund may engage in securities lending. Securities lending involves the risk that the Fund may lose money because the borrower of the Fund’s loaned securities fails to return the securities in a timely manner or at all. The Fund could also lose money in the event of a decline in the value of the collateral provided for loaned securities or a decline in the value of any investments made with cash collateral. These events could also trigger adverse tax consequences for the Fund.

Tax Risk. There is no guarantee that the Fund’s income will be exempt from U.S. federal income taxes, the federal AMT or the federal Medicare contribution tax of 3.8% on “net investment income” (effective beginning in 2013).

Tracking Error Risk. Tracking error is the divergence of the Fund’s performance from that of the Underlying Index. Tracking error may occur because of imperfect correlation between the Fund’s holdings of portfolio securities and those in the Underlying Index, pricing differences, the Fund’s holding of cash, differences on timing of the accrual of dividends, changes to the Underlying Index or the need to meet various regulatory requirements. This risk may be heightened during times of increased market volatility or other unusual market conditions. Tracking error also may result because the Fund incurs fees and expenses, while the Underlying Index does not.

 

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Performance Information

The bar chart and table that follow show how the Fund has performed on a calendar year basis and provide an indication of the risks of investing in the Fund. Both assume that all dividends and distributions have been reinvested in the Fund. Past performance (before and after taxes) does not necessarily indicate how the Fund will perform in the future. Supplemental information about the Fund’s performance is shown under the heading Total Return Information in the Supplemental Information section of the Fund’s prospectus (the “Prospectus”).

Year-by-Year Returns1 (Year Ended December 31)

 

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The Fund’s total return for the six months ended June 30, 2012 was 0.30%.

The best calendar quarter return during the period shown above was 0.96% in the 2nd quarter of 2011; the worst was 0.18% in the 4th quarter of 2011.

Updated performance information is available at www.iShares.com or by calling 1-800-iShares (1-800-474-2737) (toll free).

Average Annual Total Returns

(for the periods ended December 31, 2011)

 

     One Year     Since Fund
Inception
 
(Inception Date: 1/7/2010)     

Return Before Taxes

     2.11     1.85

Return After Taxes on Distributions1

     2.11     1.85

Return After Taxes on Distributions and Sale of Fund Shares1

     1.70     1.72
S&P AMT-Free Municipal Series 2013 IndexTM (Index returns do not reflect deductions for fees, expenses, or taxes)      2.39     2.27

 

 

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After-tax returns in the table above are calculated using the historical highest individual U.S. federal marginal income tax rates and do not reflect the impact of state or local taxes. Actual after-tax returns depend on an investor’s tax situation and may differ from those shown, and after-tax returns shown are not relevant to tax-exempt investors or investors who hold shares through tax-deferred arrangements, such as 401(k) plans or individual retirement accounts (“IRAs”). Fund returns after taxes on distributions and sales of Fund shares are calculated assuming that an investor has sufficient capital gains of the same character from other investments to offset any capital losses from the sale of Fund shares. As a result, Fund returns after taxes on distributions and sale of Fund shares may exceed Fund returns before taxes and/or returns after taxes on distributions.

 

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Management

Investment Adviser. BlackRock Fund Advisors.

Portfolio Managers. James Mauro and Scott Radell (the “Portfolio Managers”) are primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund. Each Portfolio Manager supervises a portfolio management team. Mr. Mauro and Mr. Radell have been Portfolio Managers of the Fund since 2011 and 2010, respectively.

Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares

The Fund is an exchange-traded fund (commonly referred to as an “ETF”). Individual Fund shares may only be purchased and sold on a national securities exchange through a broker-dealer. The price of Fund shares is based on market price, and because ETF shares trade at market prices rather than NAV, shares may trade at a price greater than NAV (a premium) or less than NAV (a discount). The Fund will only issue or redeem shares that have been aggregated into blocks of 50,000 shares or multiples thereof (“Creation Units”) to authorized participants who have entered into agreements with the Fund’s distributor. The Fund generally will issue or redeem Creation Units in return for a designated portfolio of securities (and an amount of cash) that the Fund specifies each day.

Tax Information

The Fund intends to make distributions primarily from net tax exempt income, although distributions of taxable capital gains may also occur. The Fund is generally not an appropriate investment for a 401(k) plan or an IRA. Please consult your personal tax adviser.

Payments to Broker-Dealers and other Financial Intermediaries

If you purchase shares of the Fund through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank), BFA or other related companies may pay the intermediary for marketing activities and presentations, educational training programs, conferences, the development of technology platforms and reporting systems or other services related to the sale or promotion of the Fund. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the broker-dealer or other intermediary and your salesperson to recommend the Fund over another investment. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.

 

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More Information About the Fund

This Prospectus contains important information about investing in the Fund. Please read this Prospectus carefully before you make any investment decisions. Additional information regarding the Fund is available at www.iShares.com.

BFA is the investment adviser to the Fund. Shares of the Fund are listed for trading on NYSE Arca, Inc. (“NYSE Arca”). The market price for a share of the Fund may be different from the Fund’s most recent NAV.

ETFs are funds that trade like other publicly traded securities. The Fund is designed to track an index. Similar to shares of an index mutual fund, each share of the Fund represents a partial ownership in an underlying portfolio of securities intended to track a market index. Unlike shares of a mutual fund, which can be bought and redeemed from the issuing fund by all shareholders at a price based on NAV, shares of the Fund may be purchased or redeemed directly from the Fund at NAV solely by authorized participants. Also unlike shares of a mutual fund, shares of the Fund are listed on a national securities exchange and trade in the secondary market at market prices that change throughout the day.

The Fund will wind up and terminate on or about August 31, 2013. Upon its termination, the Fund will distribute substantially all of its net assets, after making appropriate provision for any liabilities of the Fund, to then-current shareholders pursuant to a plan of liquidation. In the final months of the Fund’s operations, as the bonds it holds mature, its portfolio will transition to cash and cash-like instruments, including without limitation AMT-free tax-exempt municipal notes, variable rate demand notes and obligations, tender option bonds and municipal commercial paper. In accordance with the Trust’s Amended and Restated Declaration of Trust dated September 17, 2009, the Fund will terminate on or about the date above as approved by a majority of the Trust’s Board of Trustees (the “Board”) without requiring additional approval by Fund shareholders. The Board may extend the termination date if a majority of the Board determines the extension to be in the best interest of the Fund.

The Fund invests in a particular segment of the securities markets and seeks to track the performance of a securities index that generally is not representative of the market as a whole. The Fund is designed to be used as part of broader asset allocation strategies. Accordingly, an investment in the Fund should not constitute a complete investment program.

An index is a theoretical financial calculation while the Fund is an actual investment portfolio. The performance of the Fund and the Underlying Index may vary due to transaction costs, non-U.S. currency valuations, asset valuations, corporate actions (such as mergers and spin-offs), timing variances and differences between the Fund’s portfolio and the Underlying Index resulting from legal restrictions (such as diversification requirements) that apply to the Fund but not to the Underlying Index or to the use of representative sampling. “Tracking error” is the difference between the performance (return) of the Fund’s portfolio and that of the Underlying Index. BFA expects that, over time, the Fund’s tracking error will not exceed 5%. Because the Fund uses a representative sampling indexing strategy, it can be expected to have a larger tracking error than if it used a replication indexing strategy. “Replication” is an indexing

 

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strategy in which a fund invests in substantially all of the securities in its underlying index in approximately the same proportions as in the underlying index.

An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and it is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency, BFA or any of its affiliates.

The Fund’s investment objective and the Underlying Index may be changed without shareholder approval.

A Further Discussion of Principal Risks

The Fund is subject to various risks, including the principal risks noted below, any of which may adversely affect the Fund’s NAV, trading price, yield, total return and ability to meet its investment objective. You could lose all or part of your investment in the Fund, and the Fund could underperform other investments.

Asset Class Risk. The securities in the Underlying Index or in the Fund’s portfolio may underperform the returns of other securities or indexes that track other industries, groups of industries, markets, asset classes or sectors. Various types of securities or indexes tend to experience cycles of outperformance and underperformance in comparison to the general securities markets.

Concentration Risk. To the extent that the Fund’s portfolio reflects the Underlying Index’s concentration in the securities of issuers in a particular state, region, municipality, market, project type, sector or asset class, the Fund may be adversely affected by the performance of those securities, may be subject to increased price volatility and may be more susceptible to adverse economic, market, political or regulatory occurrences affecting that state, region, municipality, market, project type, sector or asset class.

Credit Risk. Credit risk is the risk that an issuer or guarantor of debt instruments or the counterparty to a derivatives contract, repurchase agreement or loan of portfolio securities will be unable or unwilling to make its timely interest and/or principal payments or to otherwise honor its obligations. Debt instruments are subject to varying degrees of credit risk, which may be reflected in their credit ratings. There is the chance that any of the Fund’s portfolio holdings will have their credit ratings downgraded or will default (i.e., fail to make scheduled interest or principal payments), potentially reducing the Fund’s income level or share price.

Declining Yield Risk. During the final three months prior to the planned termination date of the Fund, the bonds held by the Fund will mature and the Fund’s portfolio will convert to cash or cash equivalents. During these final three months, the Fund’s yield will generally tend to move toward prevailing tax-exempt money market rates, and may be lower than the yields of the bonds previously held by the Fund and lower than prevailing yields for bonds in the market.

Fluctuation of Yield and Liquidation Amount Risk. The Fund, unlike a direct investment in a municipal bond that has a level coupon payment and a fixed payment at maturity, will make distributions of income that vary over time. It is expected that an investment in the Fund, if held through maturity, will produce aggregate returns comparable to a direct investment in municipal bonds of similar credit quality and

 

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maturity, but unlike a direct investment in municipal bonds, the breakdown of returns between Fund distributions and liquidation proceeds will not be predictable at the time of your investment. The Fund may make distributions at a greater (or lesser) rate than the coupon payments received on the Fund’s portfolio, which will result in the Fund returning a lesser (or greater) amount on liquidation than would otherwise be the case. The breakdown between Fund distribution payments and the amount of liquidation proceeds may adversely affect the tax characterization of your returns from an investment in the Fund relative to a direct investment in municipal bonds. If the amount you receive as liquidation proceeds upon the Fund’s termination is higher or lower than your cost basis, you may experience a gain or loss for tax purposes. In addition, the yield on your investment (i.e., your purchase price) may be lower (or higher) than the Fund’s published yields, which are based on the Fund’s NAV.

Income Risk. The Fund’s income may decline when interest rates fall. This decline can occur because the Fund must invest in lower-yielding bonds as bonds in its portfolio mature, bonds in the Underlying Index are substituted or the Fund otherwise needs to purchase additional bonds. The Index Provider’s substitution of bonds in the Underlying Index may occur, for example, when the time to maturity for the bond no longer matches the Underlying Index’s stated maturity guidelines.

Interest Rate Risk. As interest rates rise, the value of a fixed-income security held by the Fund is likely to decrease. Securities with longer durations tend to be more sensitive to interest rate changes, usually making them more volatile than securities with shorter durations. To the extent the Fund invests a substantial portion of its assets in fixed-income securities with longer-term maturities, rising interest rates may cause the value of the Fund’s investments to decline significantly. Because the Fund holds a portfolio of securities set to mature at approximately the same time, the Fund generally will have greater exposure to interest rate risk earlier in its life than closer to its termination date.

Issuer Risk. Changes in the financial condition of an issuer or counterparty, changes in specific economic or political conditions that affect a particular type of security or issuer, and changes in general economic or political conditions can affect a security’s or instrument’s credit quality or value.

Liquidity Risk. Liquidity risk exists when particular investments are difficult to purchase or sell. To the extent the Fund invests in illiquid securities or securities that become illiquid, such investments may have a negative effect on the returns of the Fund because the Fund may be unable to sell the illiquid securities at an advantageous time or price. To the extent that the Fund’s principal investment strategies involve investing in securities with substantial market and/or credit risk, the Fund will tend to have the greatest exposure to liquidity risk. Liquid investments may become illiquid after purchase by the Fund, particularly during periods of market turmoil. Illiquid investments may be harder to value, especially in changing markets, and if the Fund is forced to sell these investments to meet redemption requests or for other cash needs, the Fund may suffer a loss. There can be no assurance that a security that is deemed to be liquid when purchased will continue to be liquid for as long as it is held by the Fund.

The market for municipal bonds may be less liquid than for taxable bonds. There may also be less information available on the financial condition of issuers of municipal

 

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securities than for public corporations. This means that it may be harder to buy and sell municipal securities, especially on short notice, and municipal securities may be more difficult for the Fund to value accurately than securities of public corporations. Since the Fund invests a significant portion of its portfolio in municipal securities, the Fund’s portfolio may have greater exposure to liquidity risk than a fund that invests in non-municipal securities.

Management Risk. The Fund may not fully replicate the Underlying Index and may hold securities not included in the Underlying Index. As a result, the Fund is subject to the risk that BFA’s investment management strategy, the implementation of which is subject to a number of constraints, may not produce the intended results.

Market Risk. The Fund could lose money due to short-term market movements and over longer periods during market downturns. Securities may decline in value due to factors affecting securities markets generally or particular industries represented in the markets. The value of a security may decline due to general market conditions, economic trends or events that are not specifically related to the issuer of the security or to factors that affect a particular project type or group of types. During a general downturn in the securities markets, multiple asset classes may be negatively affected. Fixed-income securities with short-term maturities are generally less sensitive to such changes than fixed-income securities with longer-term maturities.

Recently, the equity and debt capital markets in the United States and internationally have experienced unprecedented volatility. This financial crisis has caused a significant decline in the value and liquidity of many securities, including municipal securities, and has adversely affected many issuers of municipal securities and may continue to do so. Changes in market conditions will not have the same impact on all types of securities. The value of a security may also decrease due to specific conditions that affect a particular sector of the securities market or a particular issuer. In addition, since many municipal securities are issued to finance similar projects, such as those related to education, health care, housing, transportation, utilities, and water and sewer, conditions in these sectors can affect the overall municipal market.

Market Trading Risk

Absence of Active Market. Although shares of the Fund are listed for trading on one or more stock exchanges, there can be no assurance that an active trading market for such shares will develop or be maintained.

Risk of Secondary Listings. The Fund’s shares may be listed or traded on U.S. and non-U.S. stock exchanges other than the U.S. stock exchange where the Fund’s primary listing is maintained. There can be no assurance that the Fund’s shares will continue to trade on any such stock exchange or in any market or that the Fund’s shares will continue to meet the requirements for listing or trading on any exchange or in any market. The Fund’s shares may be less actively traded in certain markets than others, and investors are subject to the execution and settlement risks and market standards of the market where they or their broker direct their trades for execution. Certain information available to investors who trade Fund shares on a U.S. stock exchange during regular U.S. market hours may not be available to investors who trade in other markets, which may result in secondary market prices in such markets being less efficient.

 

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Secondary Market Trading Risk. Shares of the Fund may trade in the secondary market at times when the Fund does not accept orders to purchase or redeem shares. At such times, shares may trade in the secondary market with more significant premiums or discounts than might be experienced at times when the Fund accepts purchase and redemption orders.

Secondary market trading in Fund shares may be halted by a stock exchange because of market conditions or other reasons. In addition, trading in Fund shares on a stock exchange or in any market may be subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to “circuit breaker” rules on the stock exchange or market. There can be no assurance that the requirements necessary to maintain the listing or trading of Fund shares will continue to be met or will remain unchanged.

Shares of the Fund, similar to shares of other issuers listed on a stock exchange, may be sold short and are therefore subject to the risk of increased volatility associated with short selling.

Shares of the Fund May Trade at Prices Other Than NAV. Shares of the Fund trade on stock exchanges at prices at, above or below their most recent NAV. The NAV of the Fund is calculated at the end of each business day and fluctuates with changes in the market value of the Fund’s holdings since the most recent calculation. The trading prices of the Fund’s shares fluctuate continuously throughout trading hours based on market supply and demand rather than NAV. As a result, the trading prices of the Fund’s shares may deviate significantly from NAV during periods of market volatility. ANY OF THESE FACTORS, AMONG OTHERS, MAY LEAD TO THE FUND’S SHARES TRADING AT A PREMIUM OR DISCOUNT TO NAV. However, because shares can be created and redeemed in Creation Units at NAV (unlike shares of many closed-end funds, which frequently trade at appreciable discounts from, and sometimes at premiums to, their NAVs), BFA believes that large discounts or premiums to the NAV of the Fund are not likely to be sustained over the long-term. While the creation/ redemption feature is designed to make it likely that the Fund’s shares normally will trade on stock exchanges at prices close to the Fund’s next calculated NAV, exchange prices are not expected to correlate exactly with the Fund’s NAV due to timing reasons as well as market supply and demand factors. In addition, disruptions to creations and redemptions or extreme market volatility may result in trading prices for shares of the Fund that differ significantly from its NAV.

Costs of Buying or Selling Fund Shares. Buying or selling Fund shares on an exchange involves two types of costs that apply to all securities transactions. When buying or selling shares of the Fund through a broker, you will likely incur a brokerage commission or other charges imposed by brokers as determined by that broker. In addition, you may incur the cost of the “spread” – that is, the difference between what investors are willing to pay for Fund shares (the “bid” price) and the price at which they are willing to sell Fund shares (the “ask” price). Because of the costs inherent in buying or selling Fund shares, frequent trading may detract significantly from investment results and an investment in Fund shares may not be advisable for investors who anticipate regularly making small investments.

Municipal Securities Risk. Municipal securities are subject to the risk that litigation, legislation or other political events, local business or economic conditions, credit rating

 

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downgrades, or the bankruptcy of the issuer could have a significant effect on an issuer’s ability to make payments of principal and/or interest or otherwise affect the value of such securities.

Municipal securities can be significantly affected by political changes as well as uncertainties in the municipal market related to taxation, legislative changes or the rights of municipal security holders. Because many municipal securities are issued to finance similar projects, such as those related to education, health care, housing, transportation, utilities, and water and sewer, conditions in these sectors can affect the overall municipal market. In addition, changes in the financial condition of an individual municipal insurer can affect the overall municipal market.

Municipal securities backed by current or anticipated revenues from a specific project or specific assets can be negatively affected by the discontinuance of the taxation supporting the project or assets or the inability to collect revenues for the project or from the assets.

Non-Diversification Risk. The Fund is classified as “non-diversified.” This means that the Fund may invest a large percentage of its assets in securities issued by or representing a small number of issuers. As a result, the Fund may be more susceptible to the risks associated with these particular issuers, or to a single economic, political or regulatory occurrence affecting these issuers.

Passive Investment Risk. The Fund is not actively managed and may be affected by a general decline in bond market segments related to the Underlying Index. The Fund invests in securities included in, or representative of, the Underlying Index, regardless of their investment merits. BFA generally does not attempt to take defensive positions under any market conditions, including declining markets.

Securities Lending Risk. The Fund may engage in securities lending. Securities lending involves the risk that the Fund may lose money because the borrower of the Fund’s loaned securities fails to return the securities in a timely manner or at all. The Fund could also lose money in the event of a decline in the value of the collateral provided for the loaned securities or a decline in the value of any investments made with cash collateral. These events could also trigger adverse tax consequences for the Fund. Substitute payments received by the Fund with respect to municipal securities lent, if any, will not constitute tax-exempt interest income to the Fund.

Tax Risk. There is no guarantee that the Fund’s income will be exempt from U.S. federal income taxes, the federal AMT or the federal Medicare contribution tax of 3.8% on “net investment income” (effective beginning in 2013). The Index Provider relies on the bond issuer’s prospectus disclosure of the opinion from its counsel as to the tax-exempt status of the investment. Similarly, for municipal bonds not represented in the Underlying Index, BFA relies on prospectus disclosure of the tax opinion from the bond issuer’s counsel. Neither BFA nor the Fund guarantees that these opinions are correct, and there is no assurance that the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) will agree with the bond counsel’s tax opinion. Issuers or other parties generally enter into covenants requiring continuing compliance with U.S. federal tax requirements to preserve the tax-free status of interest payments over the life of the security. If at any time the covenants are not complied with, or if the IRS otherwise determines that the issuer did not comply with relevant tax requirements, interest payments from a security could

 

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become federally taxable, possibly retroactively to the date the security was issued, and the security could decline significantly in value. For municipal bonds not included in the Underlying Index, BFA will generally seek to obtain bonds that pay interest that is exempt from U.S. federal income taxes, the federal AMT and the federal Medicare tax.

The interest on any money market instruments held by the Fund may be subject to the federal AMT or the federal Medicare tax.

Events occurring after the date of issuance of a municipal bond or after the Fund’s acquisition of a municipal bond may result in a determination that interest on that bond is includible in gross income for U.S. federal income tax, federal AMT or federal Medicare tax purposes retroactively to its date of issuance. Such a determination may cause a portion of prior distributions by the Fund to its shareholders to be taxable to those shareholders in the year of receipt. U.S. federal or state changes in income, federal AMT or federal Medicare tax rates or in the tax treatment of municipal bonds may make municipal bonds less attractive as investments and cause them to lose value. If the IRS determines an issuer of a municipal security has not complied with applicable tax requirements, interest from the security could become taxable, even retroactively, and the securities could decline significantly in value.

Tracking Error Risk. Tracking error is the divergence of the Fund’s performance from that of the Underlying Index. Tracking error may occur because of imperfect correlation between the Fund’s holdings of portfolio securities and those in the Underlying Index, pricing differences, the Fund’s holding of cash, differences on timing of the accrual of dividends, changes to the Underlying Index or the need to meet various regulatory requirements. This risk may be heightened during times of increased market volatility or other unusual market conditions. Tracking error also may result because the Fund incurs fees and expenses, while the Underlying Index does not.

Portfolio Holdings Information

A description of the Trust’s policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Fund’s portfolio securities is available in the Fund’s Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”). The top holdings of the Fund can be found at www.iShares.com. Fund fact sheets provide information regarding the Fund’s top holdings and may be requested by calling 1-800-iShares (1-800-474-2737).

Management

Investment Adviser. As investment adviser, BFA has overall responsibility for the general management and administration of the Trust. BFA provides an investment program for the Fund and manages the investment of the Fund’s assets. In managing the Fund, BFA may draw upon the research and expertise of its asset management affiliates with respect to certain portfolio securities. In seeking to achieve the Fund’s investment objective, BFA uses teams of portfolio managers, investment strategists and other investment specialists. This team approach brings together many disciplines and leverages BFA’s extensive resources.

Pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreement between BFA and the Trust (entered into on behalf of the Fund), BFA is responsible for substantially all expenses of the Fund, except interest expenses, taxes, brokerage expenses, future distribution fees or expenses and extraordinary expenses.

 

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For its investment advisory services to the Fund, BFA is entitled to receive a management fee from the Fund based on a percentage of the Fund’s average daily net assets, at an annual rate of 0.30%.

BFA is located at 400 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. It is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of BlackRock, Inc. (“BlackRock”). As of June 30, 2012, BFA and its affiliates provided investment advisory services for assets in excess of $3.56 trillion. BFA and its affiliates deal, trade and invest for their own accounts in the types of securities in which the Fund may also invest.

A discussion regarding the basis for the Board’s approval of the Investment Advisory Agreement with BFA is available in the Fund’s semi-annual report for the six-month period ended September 30.

Portfolio Managers. James Mauro and Scott Radell are primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund. Each Portfolio Manager is responsible for various functions related to portfolio management, including, but not limited to, investing cash inflows, coordinating with members of his portfolio management team to focus on certain asset classes, implementing investment strategy, researching and reviewing investment strategy and overseeing members of his portfolio management team that have more limited responsibilities.

James Mauro has been employed by BFA and BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A. (“BTC”) as a portfolio manager since 2011. Prior to that, Mr. Mauro was a Vice President at State Street Global Advisors. Mr. Mauro has been a Portfolio Manager of the Fund since 2011.

Scott Radell has been employed by BFA (formerly, Barclays Global Fund Advisors (“BGFA”)) and BTC (formerly, Barclays Global Investors, N.A. (“BGI”)) as a portfolio manager since 2004. Mr. Radell was a credit strategist from 2003 to 2004 and became a portfolio manager at BGFA and BGI in 2004. Mr. Radell has been a Portfolio Manager of the Fund since 2010.

The Fund’s SAI provides additional information about the Portfolio Managers’ compensation, other accounts managed by the Portfolio Managers and the Portfolio Managers’ ownership (if any) of shares in the Fund.

Administrator, Custodian and Transfer Agent. State Street Bank and Trust Company (“State Street”) is the administrator, custodian and transfer agent for the Fund.

Conflicts of Interest. BFA wants you to know that there are certain entities with which BFA has relationships that may give rise to conflicts of interest, or the appearance of conflicts of interest. These entities are BFA’s affiliates, including BlackRock and the PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., and each of their affiliates, directors, partners, trustees, managing members, officers and employees (collectively, the “Affiliates”).

The activities of BFA and the Affiliates in the management of, or their interest in, their own accounts and other accounts they manage, may present conflicts of interest that could disadvantage the Fund and its shareholders. BFA and its Affiliates provide investment management services to other funds and discretionary managed accounts that may follow an investment program similar to that of the Fund. BFA and its Affiliates are involved worldwide with a broad spectrum of financial services and asset

 

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management activities and may engage in the ordinary course of business in activities in which their interests or the interests of their clients may conflict with those of the Fund. BFA or one or more of the Affiliates acts, or may act, as an investor, investment banker, research provider, investment manager, financier, underwriter, advisor, market maker, trader, prime broker, lender, agent or principal, and have other direct and indirect interests, in securities, currencies and other instruments in which the Fund may directly or indirectly invest. Thus, it is likely that the Fund will have multiple business relationships with and will invest in, engage in transactions with, make voting decisions with respect to, or obtain services from, entities for which BFA or an Affiliate seeks to perform investment banking or other services.

BFA or one or more Affiliates may engage in proprietary trading and advise accounts and funds that have investment objectives similar to those of the Fund and/or that engage in and compete for transactions in the same types of securities, currencies and other instruments as the Fund, including in securities issued by other open-end and closed-end investment management companies, including investment companies that are affiliated with the Fund and BFA, to the extent permitted under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). The trading activities of BFA and these Affiliates are carried out without reference to positions held directly or indirectly by the Fund and may result in BFA or an Affiliate having positions that are adverse to those of the Fund.

No Affiliate is under any obligation to share any investment opportunity, idea or strategy with the Fund. As a result, an Affiliate may compete with the Fund for appropriate investment opportunities. As a result of this and several other factors, the results of the Fund’s investment activities may differ from those of an Affiliate and of other accounts managed by an Affiliate, and it is possible that the Fund could sustain losses during periods in which one or more Affiliates and other accounts achieve profits on their trading for proprietary or other accounts. The opposite result is also possible.

The Fund may, from time to time, enter into transactions in which BFA or an Affiliate’s clients have an interest adverse to the Fund. Furthermore, transactions undertaken by Affiliate-advised clients may adversely impact the Fund. Transactions by one or more Affiliate-advised clients or BFA may have the effect of diluting or otherwise disadvantaging the values, prices or investment strategies of the Fund.

The Fund’s activities may be limited because of regulatory restrictions applicable to one or more Affiliates, and/or their internal policies designed to comply with such restrictions. In addition, the Fund may invest in securities of companies with which an Affiliate has developed or is trying to develop investment banking relationships or in which an Affiliate has significant debt or equity investments. The Fund also may invest in securities of companies for which an Affiliate provides or may someday provide research coverage. An Affiliate may have business relationships with and purchase or distribute or sell services or products from or to distributors, consultants or others who recommend the Fund or who engage in transactions with or for the Fund, and may receive compensation for such services. The Fund may also make brokerage and other payments to Affiliates in connection with the Fund’s portfolio investment transactions.

Pursuant to a securities lending program approved by the Board, the Fund has retained an Affiliate of BFA to serve as the securities lending agent for the Fund to the extent

 

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that the Fund participates in the securities lending program. For these services, the lending agent may receive a fee from the Fund, including a fee based on the returns earned on the Fund’s investment of the cash received as collateral for any loaned securities. In addition, one or more Affiliates may be among the entities to which the Fund may lend its portfolio securities under the securities lending program.

The activities of BFA or the Affiliates may give rise to other conflicts of interest that could disadvantage the Fund and its shareholders. BFA has adopted policies and procedures designed to address these potential conflicts of interest. See the Fund’s SAI for further information.

Legal Proceedings. On January 18, 2013, a lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee by Laborers’ Local 265 Pension Fund and Plumbers and Pipefitters Local No. 572 Pension Fund against BFA, BTC, and the current members of the iShares Trust Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors of iShares, Inc. (collectively, “Defendants”) for alleged violations of, among other things, Sections 36(a) and 36(b) of the 1940 Act. The complaint purports to be brought derivatively on behalf of iShares Trust and iShares, Inc., as well as the following eight funds: iShares Russell MidCap Index Fund; iShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund; iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund; iShares Russell 2000 Growth Index Fund; iShares Russell 2000 Value Index Fund; iShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF; iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF; and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index Fund (the “Funds”). The complaint alleges, among other things, that BFA and BTC breached their fiduciary duties under the 1940 Act by charging allegedly excessive fees in connection with the provision of securities lending services to the Funds, that the individual defendants breached their fiduciary duties under the 1940 Act by approving those fee arrangements, and that the securities lending contracts are unenforceable under Section 47(b) of the 1940 Act. Plaintiffs seek injunctive relief, rescission of the securities lending contracts and, monetary damages of an unspecified amount. Defendants believe the claims are without merit and intend to vigorously defend themselves against the allegations in the lawsuit. On March 11, 2013, the Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

Shareholder Information

Additional shareholder information, including how to buy and sell shares of the Fund, is available free of charge by calling toll-free: 1-800-iShares (1-800-474-2737) or visiting our website at www.iShares.com.

Buying and Selling Shares. Shares of the Fund may be acquired or redeemed directly from the Fund only in Creation Units or multiples thereof, as discussed in the Creations and Redemptions section of this Prospectus. Only an Authorized Participant (as defined in the Creations and Redemptions section) may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the Fund. Once created, shares of the Fund generally trade in the secondary market in amounts less than a Creation Unit.

Shares of the Fund are listed on a national securities exchange for trading during the trading day. Shares can be bought and sold throughout the trading day like shares of other publicly traded companies. The Trust does not impose any minimum investment for shares of the Fund purchased on an exchange. The Fund’s shares trade under the trading symbol “MUAB.”

 

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Buying or selling Fund shares on an exchange involves two types of costs that may apply to all securities transactions. When buying or selling shares of the Fund through a broker, you will likely incur a brokerage commission or other charges determined by your broker. The commission is frequently a fixed amount and may be a significant proportional cost for investors seeking to buy or sell small amounts of shares. In addition, you may incur the cost of the “spread,” that is, any difference between the bid price and the ask price. The spread varies over time for shares of the Fund based on the Fund’s trading volume and market liquidity, and is generally lower if the Fund has a lot of trading volume and market liquidity, and higher if the Fund has little trading volume and market liquidity.

The Board has adopted a policy of not monitoring for frequent purchases and redemptions of Fund shares (“frequent trading”) that appear to attempt to take advantage of a potential arbitrage opportunity presented by a lag between a change in the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities after the close of the primary markets for the Fund’s portfolio securities and the reflection of that change in the Fund’s NAV (“market timing”), because the Fund generally sells and redeems its shares directly through transactions that are in-kind and/or for cash, subject to the conditions described below under Creations and Redemptions. The Board has not adopted a policy of monitoring for other frequent trading activity because shares of the Fund are listed for trading on a national securities exchange.

The national securities exchange on which the Fund’s shares are listed is open for trading Monday through Friday and is closed on weekends and the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The Fund’s primary listing exchange is NYSE Arca.

Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act restricts investments by investment companies in the securities of other investment companies. Registered investment companies are permitted to invest in the Fund beyond the limits set forth in Section 12(d)(1), subject to certain terms and conditions set forth in SEC rules or in an SEC exemptive order issued to the Trust. In order for a registered investment company to invest in shares of the Fund beyond the limitations of Section 12(d)(1) pursuant to the exemptive relief obtained by the Trust, the registered investment company must enter into an agreement with the Trust.

Book Entry. Shares of the Fund are held in book-entry form, which means that no stock certificates are issued. The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) or its nominee is the record owner of all outstanding shares of the Fund and is recognized as the owner of all shares for all purposes.

Investors owning shares of the Fund are beneficial owners as shown on the records of DTC or its participants. DTC serves as the securities depository for shares of the Fund. DTC participants include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and other institutions that directly or indirectly maintain a custodial relationship with DTC. As a beneficial owner of shares, you are not entitled to receive physical delivery of stock certificates or to have shares registered in your name, and you are not considered a registered owner of shares. Therefore, to exercise any right as an owner of shares, you must rely upon the procedures of DTC and its

 

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participants. These procedures are the same as those that apply to any other securities that you hold in book-entry or “street name” form.

Share Prices. The trading prices of the Fund’s shares in the secondary market generally differ from the Fund’s daily NAV and are affected by market forces such as supply and demand, economic conditions and other factors. Information regarding the intraday value of shares of the Fund, also known as the “indicative optimized portfolio value” (“IOPV”), is disseminated every 15 seconds throughout the trading day by the national securities exchange on which the Fund’s shares are listed or by market data vendors or other information providers. The IOPV is based on the current market value of the securities and/or cash required to be deposited in exchange for a Creation Unit. The IOPV does not necessarily reflect the precise composition of the current portfolio of securities held by the Fund at a particular point in time or the best possible valuation of the current portfolio. Therefore, the IOPV should not be viewed as a “real-time” update of the Fund’s NAV, which is computed only once a day. The IOPV is generally determined by using both current market quotations and/or price quotations obtained from broker-dealers that may trade in the portfolio securities held by the Fund. The quotations of certain Fund holdings may not be updated during U.S. trading hours if such holdings do not trade in the United States. The Fund is not involved in, or responsible for, the calculation or dissemination of the IOPV and makes no representation or warranty as to its accuracy.

Determination of Net Asset Value. The NAV of the Fund normally is determined once daily Monday through Friday, generally as of the regularly scheduled close of business of the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) (normally 4:00 p.m., Eastern time) on each day that the NYSE is open for trading, based on prices at the time of closing provided that (a) any Fund assets or liabilities denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar are translated into U.S. dollars at the prevailing market rates on the date of valuation as quoted by one or more data service providers and (b) U.S. fixed-income assets may be valued as of the announced closing time for trading in fixed-income instruments in a particular market or exchange. The NAV of the Fund is calculated by dividing the value of the net assets of the Fund (i.e., the value of its total assets less total liabilities) by the total number of outstanding shares of the Fund, generally rounded to the nearest cent.

The value of the securities and other assets and liabilities held by the Fund are determined pursuant to valuation policies and procedures approved by the Board. The Fund’s assets and liabilities are valued primarily on the basis of market quotations.

The Fund values fixed income portfolio securities using prices provided directly from one or more broker-dealers, market makers, or independent third-party pricing services which may use matrix pricing and valuation models to derive values. Certain short-term debt securities may be valued on the basis of amortized cost.

Generally, trading in non-U.S. securities, U.S. government securities, money market instruments and certain fixed-income securities is substantially completed each day at various times prior to the close of business on the NYSE. The values of such securities used in computing the NAV of the Fund are determined as of such times.

When market quotations are not readily available or are believed by BFA to be unreliable, the Fund’s investments are valued at fair value. Fair value determinations

 

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are made by BFA in accordance with policies and procedures approved by the Fund’s Board. BFA may conclude that a market quotation is not readily available or is unreliable if a security or other asset or liability does not have a price source due to its lack of liquidity, if a market quotation differs significantly from recent price quotations or otherwise no longer appears to reflect fair value, where the security or other asset or liability is thinly traded, or where there is a significant event subsequent to the most recent market quotation. A “significant event” is an event that, in the judgment of BFA, is likely to cause a material change to the closing market price of the asset or liability held by the Fund. Non-U.S. securities whose values are affected by volatility that occurs in U.S. markets on a trading day after the close of non-U.S. securities markets may be fair valued.

Fair value represents a good faith approximation of the value of an asset or liability. The fair value of an asset or liability held by the Fund is the amount the Fund might reasonably expect to receive from the current sale of that asset or the cost to extinguish that liability in an arm’s-length transaction. Valuing the Fund’s investments using fair value pricing will result in prices that may differ from current market valuations and that may not be the prices at which those investments could have been sold during the period in which the particular fair values were used. Use of fair value prices and certain current market valuations could result in a difference between the prices used to calculate the Fund’s NAV and the prices used by the Underlying Index, which, in turn, could result in a difference between the Fund’s performance and the performance of the Underlying Index.

Dividends and Distributions

General Policies. Dividends from net investment income, if any, generally are declared and paid monthly by the Fund. Distributions of net realized securities gains, if any, generally are declared and paid once a year, but the Trust may make distributions on a more frequent basis for the Fund. The Trust reserves the right to declare special distributions if, in its reasonable discretion, such action is necessary or advisable to preserve its status as a regulated investment company or to avoid imposition of income or excise taxes on undistributed income or realized gains.

Dividends and other distributions on shares of the Fund are distributed on a pro rata basis to beneficial owners of such shares. Dividend payments are made through DTC participants and indirect participants to beneficial owners then of record with proceeds received from the Fund.

Dividend Reinvestment Service. No dividend reinvestment service is provided by the Trust. Broker-dealers may make available the DTC book-entry Dividend Reinvestment Service for use by beneficial owners of the Fund for reinvestment of their dividend distributions. Beneficial owners should contact their broker to determine the availability and costs of the service and the details of participation therein. Brokers may require beneficial owners to adhere to specific procedures and timetables. If this service is available and used, dividend distributions of both income and realized gains will be automatically reinvested in additional whole shares of the Fund purchased in the secondary market.

Taxes. As with any investment, you should consider how your investment in shares of the Fund will be taxed. The tax information in this Prospectus is provided as general

 

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information, based on current law. You should consult your own tax professional about the tax consequences of an investment in shares of the Fund.

Unless your investment in Fund shares is made through a tax-exempt entity or tax-deferred retirement account, such as an IRA, you need to be aware of the possible tax consequences when the Fund makes distributions or you sell Fund shares. In general, given its investment strategy, the Fund would not be an appropriate investment for a tax deferred retirement account such as an IRA.

Taxes on Distributions. Dividends paid by the Fund that are properly reported as tax-exempt interest dividends will not be subject to regular U.S. federal income tax. The Fund intends to invest its assets in a manner such that dividend distributions to its shareholders will generally be exempt from U.S. federal income taxation, including the federal AMT. Dividends paid by the Fund will be exempt from U.S. federal income tax (though not necessarily exempt from state and local taxation) to the extent of the Fund’s tax-exempt interest income as long as 50% or more of the value of the Fund’s assets at the end of each quarter is invested in state, municipal and other bonds that are excluded from gross income for U.S. federal income tax purposes and as long as the Fund properly reports such dividends as tax-exempt interest dividends. Exempt interest dividends from interest earned on municipal securities of a state, or its political subdivisions, may be exempt from income tax in that state. However, income from municipal securities of other states generally will not qualify for tax-free treatment.

Distributions from the Fund’s net investment income other than from net tax-exempt income, including distributions of income from securities lending and distributions out of the Fund’s net short-term capital gains, if any, are taxable to you as ordinary income. The Fund’s distributions of net long-term capital gains, if any, in excess of net short-term capital losses (capital gain dividends) are taxable to you as long-term capital gains, regardless of how long you have held the Fund’s shares. Distributions taxable as ordinary income or capital gains will be subject to a 3.8% U.S. federal Medicare contribution tax on “net investment income,” beginning in 2013 for individuals with incomes exceeding $200,000 ($250,000 if married and filing jointly). Distributions from the Fund are not expected to qualify as qualified dividend income. In general, any taxable distributions are subject to U.S. federal income tax for the year when they are paid. Certain distributions paid in January, however, may be treated as paid on December 31 of the prior year.

Any market discount recognized on a bond is taxable as ordinary income. A market discount bond is a bond acquired in the secondary market at a price below redemption value or adjusted issue price if issued with original issue discount. Absent an election by the Fund to include the market discount in income as it accrues, gain on the Fund’s disposition of such an obligation will be treated as ordinary income rather than capital gain to the extent of the accrued market discount.

If you lend your Fund shares pursuant to securities lending arrangements, you may lose the ability to treat Fund dividends (paid while the shares are held by the borrower) as tax-exempt income. Consult your financial intermediary or tax adviser.

A 30% withholding tax will be imposed on dividends paid after December 31, 2013, and redemption proceeds paid after December 31, 2014, to (i) foreign financial institutions including non-U.S. investment funds unless they agree to collect and disclose to the IRS

 

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information regarding their direct and indirect U.S. account holders and (ii) certain other foreign entities unless they certify certain information regarding their direct and indirect U.S. owners. To avoid withholding, foreign financial institutions will need to enter into agreements with the IRS which state that they will provide the IRS information including the name, address and taxpayer identification number of direct and indirect U.S. account holders, comply with due diligence procedures with respect to the identification of U.S. accounts, report to the IRS certain information with respect to U.S. accounts maintained, agree to withhold tax on certain payments made to non-compliant foreign financial institutions or to account holders who fail to provide the required information, and determine certain other information as to their account holders. Other foreign entities will need to provide the name, address, and taxpayer identification number of each substantial U.S. owner or certifications of no substantial U.S. ownership unless certain exceptions apply.

If you are a resident or a citizen of the United States, by law, back-up withholding (currently at a rate of 28%) will apply to your distributions and proceeds if you have not provided a taxpayer identification number or social security number and made other required certifications.

Shareholders will receive information after the end of each year setting forth the amount of dividends and long-term capital gains distributed to them by the Fund during the prior year. Likewise, the amount of tax-exempt income that the Fund distributes will be reported and such income must be reported on the shareholder’s U.S. federal income tax return.

Taxes When Shares are Sold. Currently, any capital gain or loss realized upon a sale of Fund shares is generally treated as a long-term gain or loss if the shares have been held for more than one year. Any capital gain or loss realized upon a sale of Fund shares held for one year or less is generally treated as short-term gain or loss, except that any capital loss on the sale of shares held for six months or less is treated as long-term capital loss to the extent that capital gain dividends were paid with respect to such shares. Beginning in 2013, any such capital gains, including from sales of Fund shares or from capital gain dividends, will be included in “net investment income” for purposes of the 3.8% U.S. federal Medicare contribution tax mentioned above.

The foregoing discussion summarizes some of the consequences under current U.S. federal tax law of an investment in the Fund. It is not a substitute for personal tax advice. You may also be subject to state and local taxation on Fund distributions and sales of shares. Consult your personal tax adviser about the potential tax consequences of an investment in shares of the Fund under all applicable tax laws.

Creations and Redemptions. Prior to trading in the secondary market, shares of the Fund are “created” at NAV by market makers, large investors and institutions only in block-size Creation Units of 50,000 shares or multiples thereof. Each “creator” or “Authorized Participant” enters into an authorized participant agreement with the Fund’s distributor, BlackRock Investments, LLC (the “Distributor”), an affiliate of BFA.

A creation transaction, which is subject to acceptance by the transfer agent, generally takes place when an Authorized Participant deposits into the Fund a designated portfolio of securities (including any portion of such securities for which cash may be substituted) (“Deposit Securities”) and a specified amount of cash approximating the

 

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holdings of the Fund in exchange for a specified number of Creation Units. To the extent practicable, the composition of such portfolio generally corresponds pro rata to the holdings of the Fund.

Similarly, shares can be redeemed only in Creation Units, generally for a designated portfolio of securities (including any portion of such securities for which cash may be substituted) held by the Fund (“Fund Securities”) and a specified amount of cash. Except when aggregated in Creation Units, shares are not redeemable by the Fund.

The prices at which creations and redemptions occur are based on the next calculation of NAV after a creation or redemption order is received in an acceptable form under the authorized participant agreement.

The portfolio of securities required for purchase of a Creation Unit may be different than the portfolio of securities the Fund will deliver upon redemption of Fund shares. The Deposit Securities and Fund Securities, as applicable, in connection with a purchase or redemption of a Creation Unit, generally will correspond pro rata, to the extent practicable, to the securities held by the Fund.

Only an Authorized Participant may create or redeem Creation Units directly with the Fund.

As a result of any system failure or other interruption, orders either may not be executed according to the Fund’s instructions or may not be executed at all, or the Fund may not be able to place or change orders.

To the extent the Fund engages in in-kind transactions, the Fund intends to comply with the U.S. federal securities laws in accepting securities for deposit and satisfying redemptions with redemption securities by, among other means, assuring that any securities accepted for deposit and any securities used to satisfy redemption requests will be sold in transactions that would be exempt from registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “1933 Act”). Further, an Authorized Participant that is not a “qualified institutional buyer,” as such term is defined under Rule 144A of the 1933 Act, will not be able to receive securities that are restricted securities eligible for resale under Rule 144A.

Creations and redemptions must be made through a firm that is either a member of the Continuous Net Settlement System of the National Securities Clearing Corporation or a DTC participant and has executed an agreement with the Distributor with respect to creations and redemptions of Creation Unit aggregations. Information about the procedures regarding creation and redemption of Creation Units (including the cut-off times for receipt of creation and redemption orders) is included in the Fund’s SAI.

Because new shares may be created and issued on an ongoing basis, at any point during the life of the Fund a “distribution,” as such term is used in the 1933 Act, may be occurring. Broker-dealers and other persons are cautioned that some activities on their part may, depending on the circumstances, result in their being deemed participants in a distribution in a manner that could render them statutory underwriters and subject to the prospectus delivery and liability provisions of the 1933 Act. Any determination of whether one is an underwriter must take into account all the relevant facts and circumstances of each particular case.

 

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Broker-dealers should also note that dealers who are not “underwriters” but are participating in a distribution (as contrasted to ordinary secondary transactions), and thus dealing with shares that are part of an “unsold allotment” within the meaning of Section 4(3)(C) of the 1933 Act, would be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(3) of the 1933 Act. For delivery of prospectuses to exchange members, the prospectus delivery mechanism of Rule 153 under the 1933 Act is available only with respect to transactions on a national securities exchange.

Costs Associated with Creations and Redemptions. Authorized Participants are charged standard creation and redemption transaction fees to offset transfer, processing and other transaction costs associated with the issuance and redemption of Creation Units. The standard creation and redemption transaction fees are set forth in the table below. The standard creation transaction fee is charged to the Authorized Participant on the day such Authorized Participant creates a Creation Unit, and is the same regardless of the number of Creation Units purchased by the Authorized Participant on the applicable business day. Similarly, the standard redemption transaction fee is charged to the Authorized Participant on the day such Authorized Participant redeems a Creation Unit, and is the same regardless of the number of Creation Units redeemed by the Authorized Participant on the applicable business day. Creations and redemptions for cash (when cash creations and redemptions (in whole or in part) are available or specified) are also subject to an additional charge (up to the maximum amounts shown in the table below). This charge is intended to compensate for brokerage, tax, foreign exchange, execution, market impact and other costs and expenses related to cash transactions. Investors who use the services of a broker or other financial intermediary to acquire or dispose of Fund shares may pay fees for such services.

The following table shows, as of May 31, 2012, the approximate value of one Creation Unit, standard fees and maximum additional charges for creations and redemptions (as described above):

 

Approximate
Value of a
Creation Unit

 

Creation
Unit Size

 

Standard
Creation/
Redemption
Transaction Fee

 

Maximum Additional
Charge for

Creations*

 

Maximum Additional
Charge for

Redemptions*

$2,546,000   50,000   $100   3.0%   2.0%

 

 

  * As a percentage of the net asset value per Creation Unit, inclusive, in the case of redemptions, of the standard redemption transaction fee.

Householding. Householding is an option available to certain Fund investors. Householding is a method of delivery, based on the preference of the individual investor, in which a single copy of certain shareholder documents can be delivered to investors who share the same address, even if their accounts are registered under different names. Please contact your broker-dealer if you are interested in enrolling in householding and receiving a single copy of prospectuses and other shareholder documents, or if you are currently enrolled in householding and wish to change your householding status.

 

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Distribution

The Distributor distributes Creation Units for the Fund on an agency basis. The Distributor does not maintain a secondary market in shares of the Fund. The Distributor has no role in determining the policies of the Fund or the securities that are purchased or sold by the Fund. The Distributor’s principal address is 525 Washington Boulevard, Suite 1405, Jersey City, NJ 07310.

In addition, BFA or its Affiliates make payments to broker-dealers, registered investment advisors, banks or other intermediaries (together, “intermediaries”) related to marketing activities and presentations, educational training programs, conferences, the development of technology platforms and reporting systems, or their making shares of the Fund and certain other iShares funds available to their customers generally and in certain investment programs. Such payments, which may be significant to the intermediary, are not made by the Fund. Rather, such payments are made by BFA or its Affiliates from their own resources, which come directly or indirectly in part from fees paid by the iShares funds complex. Payments of this type are sometimes referred to as revenue-sharing payments. A financial intermediary may make decisions about which investment options it recommends or makes available, or the level of services provided, to its customers based on the payments it is eligible to receive. Therefore, such payments to an intermediary create conflicts of interest between the intermediary and its customers and may cause the intermediary to recommend the Fund or other iShares funds over another investment. More information regarding these payments is contained in the Fund’s SAI. Please contact your salesperson or other investment professional for more information regarding any such payments his or her firm may receive from BFA or its Affiliates.

 

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Financial Highlights

The financial highlights table is intended to help investors understand the Fund’s financial performance since inception. Certain information reflects financial results for a single share of the Fund. The total returns in the table represent the rate that an investor would have earned (or lost) on an investment in the Fund, assuming reinvestment of all dividends and distributions. This information has been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, whose report is included, along with the Fund’s financial statements, in the Fund’s Annual Report (available upon request).

Financial Highlights

(For a share outstanding throughout each period)

 

    

Year ended
Mar. 31, 2012

   

Year ended
Mar. 31, 2011

   

Period from
Jan. 7, 2010a

to

Mar. 31, 2010

 

Net asset value, beginning of period

   $ 50.57      $ 50.02      $ 50.06   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Income from investment operations:

      

Net investment incomeb

     0.45        0.53        0.13   

Net realized and unrealized gain (loss)c

     0.39        0.55        (0.10
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total from investment operations

     0.84        1.08        0.03   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Less distributions from:

      

Net investment income

     (0.45     (0.53     (0.07
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total distributions

     (0.45     (0.53     (0.07
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net asset value, end of period

   $ 50.96      $ 50.57      $ 50.02   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total return

     1.66     2.16     0.07 %d 
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Ratios/Supplemental data:

      

Net assets, end of period (000s)

   $ 35,669      $ 27,815      $ 10,005   

Ratio of expenses to average net assetse

     0.30     0.30     0.30

Ratio of net investment income to average net assetse

     0.88     1.05     1.11

Portfolio turnover ratef

     1     0     0

 

 

  a

Commencement of operations.

  b

Based on average shares outstanding throughout each period.

  c

The amounts reported for a share outstanding may not accord with the change in aggregate gains and losses in securities for the fiscal period due to the timing of capital share transactions in relation to the fluctuating market values of the Fund’s underlying securities.

  d

Not annualized.

  e

Annualized for periods of less than one year.

  f

Portfolio turnover rates exclude portfolio securities received or delivered as a result of processing capital share transactions in Creation Units.

 

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Index Provider

S&P is the Index Provider for the Underlying Index and is not affiliated with the Trust, BFA, State Street, the Distributor or any of their respective affiliates.

S&P provides financial, economic and investment information and analytical services to the financial community. S&P calculates and maintains the S&P Global 1200TM, which includes the S&P 500® for the United States, the S&P Europe 350TM for Continental Europe and the United Kingdom, the S&P/TOPIX 150TM for Japan, the S&P Asia 50TM, the S&P/TSX 60TM for Canada, the S&P/ASX 50TM and the S&P Latin America 40TM. S&P also publishes the S&P MidCap 400®, S&P SmallCap 600®, S&P Composite 1500® and S&P REIT CompositeTM for the United States. S&P calculates and maintains the S&P Global Broad Market Index (BMI) Series, a set of comprehensive rules-based equity benchmarks covering developed and emerging countries around the world. Company additions to and deletions from a S&P equity index do not in any way reflect an opinion on the investment merits of the company.

BFA or its affiliates has entered into a license agreement with the Index Provider to use the Underlying Index. BFA or its affiliates sublicenses rights in the Underlying Index to the Trust at no charge.

Disclaimers

The Fund is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by S&P or its affiliates. S&P and its affiliates make no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of shares of the Fund or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally or in the Fund particularly or the ability of the Underlying Index to track general stock market performance. S&P and its affiliates’ only relationship to the Trust and BFA or its affiliates is the licensing of certain trademarks and trade names of S&P and its affiliates and of the Underlying Index which is determined, composed and calculated by S&P and its affiliates without regard to the Trust, BFA or its affiliates or the Fund. S&P and its affiliates have no obligation to take the needs of BFA or its affiliates or the owners of shares of the Fund into consideration in determining, composing or calculating the Underlying Index. S&P and its affiliates are not responsible for and have not participated in the determination of the prices and amount of shares of the Fund, or the timing of the issuance or sale of such shares or in the determination or calculation of the equation by which shares of the Fund are to be converted into cash. S&P and its affiliates have no obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of shares of the Fund. S&P and its affiliates do not guarantee the accuracy or the completeness of the Underlying Index or any data included therein and S&P and its affiliates shall have no liability for any errors, omissions, or interruptions therein.

S&P AND ITS AFFILIATES MAKE NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED BY BFA OR ITS AFFILIATES, OWNERS OF SHARES OF THE FUND OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY FROM THE USE OF THE UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. S&P AND ITS AFFILIATES MAKE NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES AND EXPRESSLY

 

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DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE WITH RESPECT TO THE UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT SHALL S&P AND ITS AFFILIATES HAVE ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, DIRECT, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING LOST PROFITS) RESULTING FROM THE USE OF THE UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN, EVEN IF NOTIFIED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

Shares of the Fund are not sponsored, endorsed or promoted by NYSE Arca. NYSE Arca makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of the shares of the Fund or any member of the public regarding the ability of the Fund to track the total return performance of the Underlying Index or the ability of the Underlying Index to track stock market performance. NYSE Arca is not responsible for, nor has it participated in, the determination of the compilation or the calculation of the Underlying Index, nor in the determination of the timing of, prices of, or quantities of shares of the Fund to be issued, nor in the determination or calculation of the equation by which the shares are redeemable. NYSE Arca has no obligation or liability to owners of the shares of the Fund in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the shares of the Fund.

NYSE Arca does not guarantee the accuracy and/or the completeness of the Underlying Index or any data included therein. NYSE Arca makes no warranty, express or implied, as to results to be obtained by the Trust on behalf of the Fund as licensee, licensee’s customers and counterparties, owners of the shares of the Fund, or any other person or entity from the use of the subject index or any data included therein in connection with the rights licensed as described herein or for any other use. NYSE Arca makes no express or implied warranties and hereby expressly disclaims all warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose with respect to the Underlying Index or any data included therein. Without limiting any of the foregoing, in no event shall NYSE Arca have any liability for any direct, indirect, special, punitive, consequential or any other damages (including lost profits) even if notified of the possibility of such damages.

BFA does not guarantee the accuracy or the completeness of the Underlying Index or any data included therein and BFA shall have no liability for any errors, omissions or interruptions therein.

BFA makes no warranty, express or implied, to the owners of shares of the Fund or to any other person or entity, as to results to be obtained by the Fund from the use of the Underlying Index or any data included therein. BFA makes no express or implied warranties and expressly disclaims all warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose or use with respect to the Underlying Index or any data included therein. Without limiting any of the foregoing, in no event shall BFA have any liability for any special, punitive, direct, indirect or consequential damages (including lost profits), even if notified of the possibility of such damages.

 

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Supplemental Information

I. Premium/Discount Information

The table that follows presents information about the differences between the daily market price on secondary markets for shares of the Fund and the Fund’s NAV. NAV is the price at which the Fund issues and redeems shares. It is calculated in accordance with the standard formula for valuing mutual fund shares. The price used to calculate market returns (“Market Price”) of the Fund generally is determined using the midpoint between the highest bid and the lowest offer on the primary securities exchange on which shares of the Fund are listed for trading, as of the time that the Fund’s NAV is calculated. The Fund’s Market Price may be at, above or below its NAV. The NAV of the Fund will fluctuate with changes in the value of its portfolio holdings. The Market Price of the Fund will fluctuate in accordance with changes in its NAV, as well as market supply and demand.

Premiums or discounts are the differences (expressed as a percentage) between the NAV and Market Price of the Fund on a given day, generally at the time the NAV is calculated. A premium is the amount that the Fund is trading above the reported NAV, expressed as a percentage of the NAV. A discount is the amount that the Fund is trading below the reported NAV, expressed as a percentage of the NAV.

The following information shows the frequency of distributions of premiums and discounts for the Fund for each full calendar quarter of 2011 through June 30, 2012.

Each line in the table shows the number of trading days in which the Fund traded within the premium/discount range indicated. The number of trading days in each premium/ discount range is also shown as a percentage of the total number of trading days in the period covered by the table. All data presented here represents past performance, which cannot be used to predict future results.

 

Premium/Discount Range

   Number of Days        Percentage of Total Days  
Greater than 2.5%      2           0.54%   
Greater than 2.0% and Less than 2.5%      1           0.27     
Greater than 1.5% and Less than 2.0%      1           0.27     
Greater than 1.0% and Less than 1.5%      4           1.06     
Greater than 0.5% and Less than 1.0%      14           3.71     
Between 0.5% and -0.5%      341           90.44     
Less than -0.5% and Greater than -1.0%      14           3.71     
  

 

 

      

 

 

 
     377           100.00%   
  

 

 

      

 

 

 

 

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II. Total Return Information

The table that follows presents information about the total returns of the Fund and the Underlying Index as of the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012.

“Average Annual Total Returns” represent the average annual change in value of an investment over the periods indicated. “Cumulative Total Returns” represent the total change in value of an investment over the period indicated.

The Fund’s NAV is the value of one share of the Fund as calculated in accordance with the standard formula for valuing mutual fund shares. The NAV return is based on the NAV of the Fund and the market return is based on the Market Price of the Fund. Market Price is determined by using the midpoint between the highest bid and the lowest offer on the primary stock exchange on which shares of the Fund are listed for trading, as of the time that the Fund’s NAV is calculated. Since shares of the Fund did not trade in the secondary market until after the Fund’s inception, for the period from inception to the first day of secondary market trading in shares of the Fund, the NAV of the Fund is used as a proxy for the Market Price to calculate market returns. Market and NAV returns assume that dividends and capital gain distributions have been reinvested in the Fund at Market Price and NAV, respectively.

An index is a statistical composite that tracks a specified financial market or sector. Unlike the Fund, the Underlying Index does not actually hold a portfolio of securities and therefore does not incur the expenses incurred by the Fund. These expenses negatively impact the performance of the Fund. Also, market returns do not include brokerage commissions that may be payable on secondary market transactions. If brokerage commissions were included, market returns would be lower. The returns shown in the following table do not reflect the deduction of taxes that a shareholder would pay on Fund distributions or the redemption or sale of Fund shares. The investment return and principal value of shares of the Fund will vary with changes in market conditions. Shares of the Fund may be worth more or less than their original cost when they are redeemed or sold in the market. The Fund’s past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Performance as of March 31, 2012

 

 

Average Annual Total Returns   Cumulative Total Returns
Year Ended 3/31/12   Inception to 3/31/12*   Inception to 3/31/12*
NAV   MARKET   INDEX   NAV   MARKET   INDEX   NAV   MARKET   INDEX
1.66%   1.60%   1.95%   1.74%   1.87%   2.12%   3.93%   4.22%   4.83%

 

 

  * Total returns for the period since inception are calculated from the inception date of the Fund (1/7/10). The first day of secondary market trading in shares of the Fund was 1/8/10.

 

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LOGO

 

 

 

For more information visit www.iShares.com or call 1-800-474-2737

Copies of the Prospectus, SAI and recent shareholder reports can be found on our website at www.iShares.com. For more information about the Fund, you may request a copy of the SAI. The SAI provides detailed information about the Fund and is incorporated by reference into this Prospectus. This means that the SAI, for legal purposes, is a part of this Prospectus.

Additional information about the Fund’s investments is available in the Fund’s Annual and Semi-Annual reports to shareholders. In the Fund’s Annual Report, you will find a discussion of the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected the Fund’s performance during the last fiscal year.

If you have any questions about the Trust or shares of the Fund or you wish to obtain the SAI, Semi-Annual or Annual report free of charge, please:

 

  Call: 1-800-iShares or 1-800-474-2737 (toll free)
       Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (Eastern time)

 

  Email: iSharesETFs@blackrock.com

 

  Write: c/o BlackRock Investments, LLC
       525 Washington Boulevard, Suite 1405, Jersey City, NJ 07310

Information about the Fund (including the SAI) can be reviewed and copied at the SEC’s Public Reference Room in Washington, D.C., and information on the operation of the Public Reference Room may be obtained by calling the SEC at 1-202-551-8090. Reports and other information about the Fund are available on the EDGAR database on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov, and copies of this information may be obtained, after paying a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the following e-mail address: publicinfo@sec.gov, or by writing to the SEC’s Public Reference Section, Washington, D.C. 20549-1520.

No person is authorized to give any information or to make any representations about the Fund and its shares not contained in this Prospectus and you should not rely on any other information. Read and keep the Prospectus for future reference.

Investment Company Act File No.: 811-09729

 

LOGO   
   LOGO

 

IS-P-MUAB-0413


Table of Contents
LOGO   

August 1, 2012

(as revised April 15, 2013)

2012 Prospectus

 

iShares 2014 S&P AMT-Free Municipal Series

MUAC • NYSE ARCA

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has not approved or disapproved these securities or passed upon the adequacy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

 

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

 

Fund Overview      S-1   
More Information About the Fund      1   
A Further Discussion of Principal Risks      2   
Portfolio Holdings Information      7   
Management      7   
Shareholder Information      10   
Distribution      18   
Financial Highlights      19   
Index Provider      20   
Disclaimers      20   
Supplemental Information      22   

 

“STANDARD & POOR’S®,” “S&P®,” “S&P INDICES®” and “S&P AMT-Free Municipal Series 2014 IndexTM” are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and have been licensed for use by BlackRock Fund Advisors or its affiliates. iShares® is a registered trademark of BlackRock Fund Advisors or its affiliates.

 

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iSHARES® 2014 S&P AMT-FREE MUNICIPAL SERIES

 

Ticker: MUAC   Stock Exchange: NYSE Arca

Investment Objective

The iShares 2014 S&P AMT-Free Municipal Series (the “Fund”) seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the S&P AMT-Free Municipal Series 2014 IndexTM (the “Underlying Index”). The Fund does not seek to return any predetermined amount at maturity.

Fees and Expenses

The following table describes the fees and expenses that you will incur if you own shares of the Fund. The investment advisory agreement between iShares Trust (the “Trust”) and BlackRock Fund Advisors (“BFA”) (the “Investment Advisory Agreement”) provides that BFA will pay all operating expenses of the Fund, except interest expenses, taxes, brokerage expenses, future distribution fees or expenses, and extraordinary expenses.

You may also incur usual and customary brokerage commissions when buying or selling shares of the Fund, which are not reflected in the example that follows:

 

Annual Fund Operating Expenses

(ongoing expenses that you pay each year as a
percentage of the value of your investments)

Management
Fees

 

Distribution and
Service (12b-1)
Fees

 

Other
Expenses

 

Total Annual
Fund
Operating
Expenses

0.30%   None   None   0.30%

Example. This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of owning shares of the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then sell all of your shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions, your costs would be:

 

1 Year

 

3 Years

 

5 Years

 

10 Years

$31   $97   $169   $381

Portfolio Turnover. The Fund may pay transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Fund shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in Annual Fund Operating Expenses or in the Example, affect the Fund’s performance. During the most recent fiscal year, the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate was 1% of the average value of its portfolio.

 

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Principal Investment Strategies

The Underlying Index measures the performance of investment-grade, noncallable U.S. municipal bonds maturing in 2014. As of March 31, 2012, there were 2,934 issues in the Underlying Index.

The Underlying Index includes municipal bonds primarily from issuers that are state or local governments or agencies (including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and U.S. territories such as the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam) such that the interest on the bonds is exempt from U.S. federal income taxes and the federal alternative minimum tax (“AMT”). Each bond must have a rating of at least BBB- by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, Baa3 by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”), or BBB- by Fitch, Inc. and must have a minimum maturity par amount of $2 million to be eligible for inclusion in the Underlying Index. To remain in the Underlying Index, bonds must maintain a minimum par amount greater than or equal to $2 million as of each rebalancing date. All bonds in the Underlying Index will mature between June 1 and August 31 of the year referenced in the name of the Underlying Index. When a bond matures in the Underlying Index, an amount representing its value at maturity will be included in the Underlying Index throughout the remaining life of the Underlying Index, and any such amount will be assumed to earn a rate equal to the performance of the Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC’s, a subsidiary of The McGraw-Hill Companies (“S&P”), Weekly High Grade Index, which consists of Moody’s Investment Grade-1 municipal tax-exempt notes that are not subject to federal AMT. The Underlying Index is a market value weighted index and is rebalanced after the close on the last business day of each month.

BFA uses a “passive” or indexing approach to try to achieve the Fund’s investment objective. Unlike many investment companies, the Fund does not try to “beat” the index it tracks and does not seek temporary defensive positions when markets decline or appear overvalued.

Indexing may eliminate the chance that the Fund will substantially outperform the Underlying Index but also may reduce some of the risks of active management, such as poor security selection. Indexing seeks to achieve lower costs and better after-tax performance by keeping portfolio turnover low in comparison to actively managed investment companies.

BFA uses a representative sampling indexing strategy to manage the Fund. “Representative sampling” is an indexing strategy that involves investing in a representative sample of securities that collectively has an investment profile similar to the Underlying Index.

The securities selected are expected to have, in the aggregate, investment characteristics (based on factors such as market capitalization and industry weightings), fundamental characteristics (such as return variability, duration, maturity or credit ratings and yield) and liquidity measures similar to those of the Underlying Index. The Fund may or may not hold all of the securities in the Underlying Index.

The Fund generally invests at least 80% of its assets in the securities of its Underlying Index, except during the last months of the Fund’s operations, as

 

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described below. The Fund may invest the remainder of its assets in cash and cash equivalents (including money market funds affiliated with BFA), as well as in municipal bonds not included in the Underlying Index, but which BFA believes will help the Fund track its Underlying Index. The Fund will generally hold municipal bond securities issued by state and local municipalities whose interest payments are exempt from U.S. federal income tax, the federal AMT and, effective beginning in 2013, a federal Medicare contribution tax of 3.8% on “net investment income,” including dividends, interest and capital gains. In addition, the Fund may invest any cash assets in one or more affiliated municipal money market funds. In the last months of operation, as the bonds held by the Fund mature, the proceeds will not be reinvested in bonds but instead will be held in cash and cash equivalents, including, without limitation, AMT-free tax-exempt municipal notes, variable rate demand notes and obligations, tender option bonds and municipal commercial paper. These cash equivalents may not be included in the Underlying Index. By August 31, 2014, the Underlying Index is expected to consist entirely of cashed earned in this manner. Around the same time, the Fund will wind up and terminate, and its net assets will be distributed to then-current shareholders.

The Fund may lend securities representing up to one-third of the value of the Fund’s total assets (including the value of the collateral received).

The Underlying Index is sponsored by an organization (the “Index Provider”) that is independent of the Fund and BFA. The Index Provider determines the composition and relative weightings of the securities in the Underlying Index and publishes information regarding the market value of the Underlying Index. The Fund’s Index Provider is S&P.

Industry Concentration Policy. The Fund will concentrate its investments (i.e., hold 25% or more of its total assets) in a particular industry or group of industries, to approximately the same extent that the Underlying Index is concentrated. For purposes of this limitation, securities of the U.S. government (including its agencies and instrumentalities), repurchase agreements collateralized by U.S. government securities, and securities of state or municipal governments and their political subdivisions are not considered to be issued by members of any industry.

Summary of Principal Risks

As with any investment, you could lose all or part of your investment in the Fund, and the Fund’s performance could trail that of other investments. The Fund is subject to the principal risks noted below, any of which may adversely affect the Fund’s net asset value per share (“NAV”), trading price, yield, total return and ability to meet its investment objective.

Asset Class Risk. Securities in the Underlying Index or in the Fund’s portfolio may underperform in comparison to the general securities markets or other asset classes.

Concentration Risk. To the extent that the Fund’s investments are concentrated in a particular state, region, municipality, market, project type or asset class, the Fund may be susceptible to loss due to adverse occurrences affecting that state, region,

 

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municipality, market, project type or asset class.

Credit Risk. The Fund is subject to the risk that debt issuers and other counterparties may not honor their obligations or may have their debt downgraded by ratings agencies.

Declining Yield Risk. During the final three months prior to the Fund’s planned termination date, its yield will generally tend to move toward prevailing tax-exempt money market rates, and may be lower than the yields of the bonds previously held by the Fund and lower than prevailing yields for bonds in the market.

Fluctuation of Yield and Liquidation Amount Risk. The Fund, unlike a direct investment in a municipal bond that has a level coupon payment and a fixed payment at maturity, will make distributions of income that vary over time. It is expected that an investment in the Fund, if held through maturity, will produce aggregate returns comparable to a direct investment in municipal bonds of similar credit quality and maturity. Unlike a direct investment in municipal bonds, the breakdown of returns between Fund distributions and liquidation proceeds are not predictable at the time of your investment. For example, at times during the Fund’s existence it may make distributions at a greater (or lesser) rate than the coupon payments received on the Fund’s portfolio, which will result in the Fund returning a lesser (or greater) amount on liquidation than would otherwise be the case. The rate of Fund distribution payments may adversely affect the tax characterization of your returns from an investment in the Fund relative to a direct investment in municipal bonds. If

the amount you receive as liquidation proceeds upon the Fund’s termination is higher or lower than your cost basis, you may experience a gain or loss for tax purposes.

Income Risk. The Fund’s income may decline when interest rates fall. This decline can occur because the Fund must invest in lower-yielding bonds as bonds in its portfolio mature, bonds in the Underlying Index are substituted or the Fund otherwise needs to purchase additional bonds.

Interest Rate Risk. An increase in interest rates may cause the value of fixed-income securities held by the Fund to decline.

Issuer Risk. Fund performance depends on the performance of individual securities to which the Fund has exposure. The Fund invests in municipal bonds of issuers that are primarily state or local governments or agencies. Changes to the financial condition or credit rating of an issuer of those securities may cause the value of the securities to decline.

Liquidity Risk. Liquidity risk exists when particular investments are difficult to purchase or sell. This can reduce the Fund’s returns because the Fund may be unable to transact at advantageous times or prices. The Fund invests a significant portion of its portfolio in municipal securities, which may be less liquid than taxable bonds.

Management Risk. As the Fund may not fully replicate the Underlying Index, it is subject to the risk that BFA’s investment management strategy may not produce the intended results.

Market Risk. The Fund could lose money over short periods due to short-term market movements and over longer periods during market

 

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downturns. The recent financial crisis has caused a decrease in the value and liquidity of many securities, including certain municipal securities, and has adversely affected many issuers of municipal securities and may continue to do so.

Market Trading Risk. The Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including the potential lack of an active market for Fund shares, losses from trading in secondary markets, periods of high volatility and disruption in the creation/redemption process of the Fund. ANY OF THESE FACTORS, AMONG OTHERS, MAY LEAD TO THE FUND’S SHARES TRADING AT A PREMIUM OR DISCOUNT TO NAV.

Municipal Securities Risk. Municipal securities can be significantly affected by political or economic changes as well as uncertainties in the municipal market related to taxation, legislative changes or the rights of municipal security holders. Municipal securities backed by current or anticipated revenues from a specific project or specific assets can be negatively affected by the inability to collect revenues for the project or from the assets.

Non-Diversification Risk. The Fund may invest a large percentage of its assets in securities issued by or representing a small number of issuers. As a result, the Fund’s performance may depend on the performance of a small number of issuers.

Passive Investment Risk. The Fund is not actively managed and BFA does not attempt to take defensive positions under any market conditions, including declining markets.

Securities Lending Risk. The Fund may engage in securities lending. Securities lending involves the risk that the Fund may lose money because the borrower of the Fund’s loaned securities fails to return the securities in a timely manner or at all. The Fund could also lose money in the event of a decline in the value of the collateral provided for loaned securities or a decline in the value of any investments made with cash collateral. These events could also trigger adverse tax consequences for the Fund.

Tax Risk. There is no guarantee that the Fund’s income will be exempt from U.S. federal income taxes, the federal AMT or the federal Medicare contribution tax of 3.8% on “net investment income” (effective beginning in 2013).

Tracking Error Risk. Tracking error is the divergence of the Fund’s performance from that of the Underlying Index. Tracking error may occur because of imperfect correlation between the Fund’s holdings of portfolio securities and those in the Underlying Index, pricing differences, the Fund’s holding of cash, differences on timing of the accrual of dividends, changes to the Underlying Index or the need to meet various regulatory requirements. This risk may be heightened during times of increased market volatility or other unusual market conditions. Tracking error also may result because the Fund incurs fees and expenses, while the Underlying Index does not.

 

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Performance Information

The bar chart and table that follow show how the Fund has performed on a calendar year basis and provide an indication of the risks of investing in the Fund. Both assume that all dividends and distributions have been reinvested in the Fund. Past performance (before and after taxes) does not necessarily indicate how the Fund will perform in the future. Supplemental information about the Fund’s performance is shown under the heading Total Return Information in the Supplemental Information section of the Fund’s prospectus (the “Prospectus”).

Year-by-Year Returns1 (Year Ended December 31)

 

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The Fund’s total return for the six months ended June 30, 2012 was 0.72%.

The best calendar quarter return during the period shown above was 1.56% in the 2nd quarter of 2011; the worst was 0.22% in the 4th quarter of 2011.

Updated performance information is available at www.iShares.com or by calling 1-800-iShares (1-800-474-2737) (toll free).

Average Annual Total Returns

(for the periods ended December 31, 2011)

 

    One Year     Since Fund
Inception
 
(Inception Date: 1/7/2010)    

Return Before Taxes

    3.52%        2.70%   

Return After Taxes on Distributions1

    3.52%        2.70%   

Return After Taxes on Distributions and Sale of Fund Shares1

    2.71%        2.49%   
S&P AMT-Free Municipal Series 2014 IndexTM (Index returns do not reflect deductions for fees, expenses, or taxes)     3.72%        3.18%   

 

 

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After-tax returns in the table above are calculated using the historical highest individual U.S. federal marginal income tax rates and do not reflect the impact of state or local taxes. Actual after-tax returns depend on an investor’s tax situation and may differ from those shown, and after-tax returns shown are not relevant to tax-exempt investors or investors who hold shares through tax-deferred arrangements, such as 401(k) plans or individual retirement accounts (“IRAs”). Fund returns after taxes on distributions and sales of Fund shares are calculated assuming that an investor has sufficient capital gains of the same character from other investments to offset any capital losses from the sale of Fund shares. As a result, Fund returns after taxes on distributions and sale of Fund shares may exceed Fund returns before taxes and/or returns after taxes on distributions.

 

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Management

Investment Adviser. BlackRock Fund Advisors.

Portfolio Managers. James Mauro and Scott Radell (the “Portfolio Managers”) are primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund. Each Portfolio Manager supervises a portfolio management team. Mr. Mauro and Mr. Radell have been Portfolio Managers of the Fund since 2011 and 2010, respectively.

Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares

The Fund is an exchange-traded fund (commonly referred to as an “ETF”). Individual Fund shares may only be purchased and sold on a national securities exchange through a broker-dealer. The price of Fund shares is based on market price, and because ETF shares trade at market prices rather than NAV, shares may trade at a price greater than NAV (a premium) or less than NAV (a discount). The Fund will only issue or redeem shares that have been aggregated into blocks of 50,000 shares or multiples thereof (“Creation Units”) to authorized participants who have entered into agreements with the Fund’s distributor. The Fund generally will issue or redeem Creation Units in return for a designated portfolio of securities (and an amount of cash) that the Fund specifies each day.

Tax Information

The Fund intends to make distributions primarily from net tax exempt income, although distributions of taxable capital gains may also occur. The Fund is generally not an appropriate investment for a 401(k) plan or an IRA. Please consult your personal tax adviser.

Payments to Broker-Dealers and other Financial Intermediaries

If you purchase shares of the Fund through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank), BFA or other related companies may pay the intermediary for marketing activities and presentations, educational training programs, conferences, the development of technology platforms and reporting systems or other services related to the sale or promotion of the Fund. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the broker-dealer or other intermediary and your salesperson to recommend the Fund over another investment. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.

 

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More Information About the Fund

This Prospectus contains important information about investing in the Fund. Please read this Prospectus carefully before you make any investment decisions. Additional information regarding the Fund is available at www.iShares.com.

BFA is the investment adviser to the Fund. Shares of the Fund are listed for trading on NYSE Arca, Inc. (“NYSE Arca”). The market price for a share of the Fund may be different from the Fund’s most recent NAV.

ETFs are funds that trade like other publicly traded securities. The Fund is designed to track an index. Similar to shares of an index mutual fund, each share of the Fund represents a partial ownership in an underlying portfolio of securities intended to track a market index. Unlike shares of a mutual fund, which can be bought and redeemed from the issuing fund by all shareholders at a price based on NAV, shares of the Fund may be purchased or redeemed directly from the Fund at NAV solely by authorized participants. Also unlike shares of a mutual fund, shares of the Fund are listed on a national securities exchange and trade in the secondary market at market prices that change throughout the day.

The Fund will wind up and terminate on or about August 31, 2014. Upon its termination, the Fund will distribute substantially all of its net assets, after making appropriate provision for any liabilities of the Fund, to then-current shareholders pursuant to a plan of liquidation. In the final months of the Fund’s operations, as the bonds it holds mature, its portfolio will transition to cash and cash-like instruments, including without limitation AMT-free tax-exempt municipal notes, variable rate demand notes and obligations, tender option bonds and municipal commercial paper. In accordance with the Trust’s Amended and Restated Declaration of Trust dated September 17, 2009, the Fund will terminate on or about the date above as approved by a majority of the Trust’s Board of Trustees (the “Board”) without requiring additional approval by Fund shareholders. The Board may extend the termination date if a majority of the Board determines the extension to be in the best interest of the Fund.

The Fund invests in a particular segment of the securities markets and seeks to track the performance of a securities index that generally is not representative of the market as a whole. The Fund is designed to be used as part of broader asset allocation strategies. Accordingly, an investment in the Fund should not constitute a complete investment program.

An index is a theoretical financial calculation while the Fund is an actual investment portfolio. The performance of the Fund and the Underlying Index may vary due to transaction costs, non-U.S. currency valuations, asset valuations, corporate actions (such as mergers and spin-offs), timing variances and differences between the Fund’s portfolio and the Underlying Index resulting from legal restrictions (such as diversification requirements) that apply to the Fund but not to the Underlying Index or to the use of representative sampling. “Tracking error” is the difference between the performance (return) of the Fund’s portfolio and that of the Underlying Index. BFA expects that, over time, the Fund’s tracking error will not exceed 5%. Because the Fund uses a representative sampling indexing strategy, it can be expected to have a larger tracking error than if it used a replication indexing strategy. “Replication” is an indexing

 

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strategy in which a fund invests in substantially all of the securities in its underlying index in approximately the same proportions as in the underlying index.

An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and it is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency, BFA or any of its affiliates.

The Fund’s investment objective and the Underlying Index may be changed without shareholder approval.

A Further Discussion of Principal Risks

The Fund is subject to various risks, including the principal risks noted below, any of which may adversely affect the Fund’s NAV, trading price, yield, total return and ability to meet its investment objective. You could lose all or part of your investment in the Fund, and the Fund could underperform other investments.

Asset Class Risk. The securities in the Underlying Index or in the Fund’s portfolio may underperform the returns of other securities or indexes that track other industries, groups of industries, markets, asset classes or sectors. Various types of securities or indexes tend to experience cycles of outperformance and underperformance in comparison to the general securities markets.

Concentration Risk. To the extent that the Fund’s portfolio reflects the Underlying Index’s concentration in the securities of issuers in a particular state, region, municipality, market, project type, sector or asset class, the Fund may be adversely affected by the performance of those securities, may be subject to increased price volatility and may be more susceptible to adverse economic, market, political or regulatory occurrences affecting that state, region, municipality, market, project type, sector or asset class.

Credit Risk. Credit risk is the risk that an issuer or guarantor of debt instruments or the counterparty to a derivatives contract, repurchase agreement or loan of portfolio securities will be unable or unwilling to make its timely interest and/or principal payments or to otherwise honor its obligations. Debt instruments are subject to varying degrees of credit risk, which may be reflected in their credit ratings. There is the chance that any of the Fund’s portfolio holdings will have their credit ratings downgraded or will default (i.e., fail to make scheduled interest or principal payments), potentially reducing the Fund’s income level or share price.

Declining Yield Risk. During the final three months prior to the planned termination date of the Fund, the bonds held by the Fund will mature and the Fund’s portfolio will convert to cash or cash equivalents. During these final three months, the Fund’s yield will generally tend to move toward prevailing tax-exempt money market rates, and may be lower than the yields of the bonds previously held by the Fund and lower than prevailing yields for bonds in the market.

Fluctuation of Yield and Liquidation Amount Risk. The Fund, unlike a direct investment in a municipal bond that has a level coupon payment and a fixed payment at maturity, will make distributions of income that vary over time. It is expected that an investment in the Fund, if held through maturity, will produce aggregate returns comparable to a direct investment in municipal bonds of similar credit quality and

 

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maturity, but unlike a direct investment in municipal bonds, the breakdown of returns

between Fund distributions and liquidation proceeds will not be predictable at the time of your investment. The Fund may make distributions at a greater (or lesser) rate than the coupon payments received on the Fund’s portfolio, which will result in the Fund returning a lesser (or greater) amount on liquidation than would otherwise be the case. The breakdown between Fund distribution payments and the amount of liquidation proceeds may adversely affect the tax characterization of your returns from an investment in the Fund relative to a direct investment in municipal bonds. If the amount you receive as liquidation proceeds upon the Fund’s termination is higher or lower than your cost basis, you may experience a gain or loss for tax purposes. In addition, the yield on your investment (i.e., your purchase price) may be lower (or higher) than the Fund’s published yields, which are based on the Fund’s NAV.

Income Risk. The Fund’s income may decline when interest rates fall. This decline can occur because the Fund must invest in lower-yielding bonds as bonds in its portfolio mature, bonds in the Underlying Index are substituted or the Fund otherwise needs to purchase additional bonds. The Index Provider’s substitution of bonds in the Underlying Index may occur, for example, when the time to maturity for the bond no longer matches the Underlying Index’s stated maturity guidelines.

Interest Rate Risk. As interest rates rise, the value of a fixed-income security held by the Fund is likely to decrease. Securities with longer durations tend to be more sensitive to interest rate changes, usually making them more volatile than securities with shorter durations. To the extent the Fund invests a substantial portion of its assets in fixed-income securities with longer-term maturities, rising interest rates may cause the value of the Fund’s investments to decline significantly. Because the Fund holds a portfolio of securities set to mature at approximately the same time, the Fund generally will have greater exposure to interest rate risk earlier in its life than closer to its termination date.

Issuer Risk. Changes in the financial condition of an issuer or counterparty, changes in specific economic or political conditions that affect a particular type of security or issuer, and changes in general economic or political conditions can affect a security’s or instrument’s credit quality or value.

Liquidity Risk. Liquidity risk exists when particular investments are difficult to purchase or sell. To the extent the Fund invests in illiquid securities or securities that become illiquid, such investments may have a negative effect on the returns of the Fund because the Fund may be unable to sell the illiquid securities at an advantageous time or price. To the extent that the Fund’s principal investment strategies involve investing in securities with substantial market and/or credit risk, the Fund will tend to have the greatest exposure to liquidity risk. Liquid investments may become illiquid after purchase by the Fund, particularly during periods of market turmoil. Illiquid investments may be harder to value, especially in changing markets, and if the Fund is forced to sell these investments to meet redemption requests or for other cash needs, the Fund may suffer a loss. There can be no assurance that a security that is deemed to be liquid when purchased will continue to be liquid for as long as it is held by the Fund.

The market for municipal bonds may be less liquid than for taxable bonds. There may also be less information available on the financial condition of issuers of municipal

 

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securities than for public corporations. This means that it may be harder to buy and sell municipal securities, especially on short notice, and municipal securities may be more difficult for the Fund to value accurately than securities of public corporations. Since the Fund invests a significant portion of its portfolio in municipal securities, the Fund’s portfolio may have greater exposure to liquidity risk than a fund that invests in non-municipal securities.

Management Risk. The Fund may not fully replicate the Underlying Index and may hold securities not included in the Underlying Index. As a result, the Fund is subject to the risk that BFA’s investment management strategy, the implementation of which is subject to a number of constraints, may not produce the intended results.

Market Risk. The Fund could lose money due to short-term market movements and over longer periods during market downturns. Securities may decline in value due to factors affecting securities markets generally or particular industries represented in the markets. The value of a security may decline due to general market conditions, economic trends or events that are not specifically related to the issuer of the security or to factors that affect a particular project type or group of types. During a general downturn in the securities markets, multiple asset classes may be negatively affected. Fixed-income securities with short-term maturities are generally less sensitive to such changes than fixed-income securities with longer-term maturities.

Recently, the equity and debt capital markets in the United States and internationally have experienced unprecedented volatility. This financial crisis has caused a significant decline in the value and liquidity of many securities, including municipal securities, and has adversely affected many issuers of municipal securities and may continue to do so. Changes in market conditions will not have the same impact on all types of securities. The value of a security may also decrease due to specific conditions that affect a particular sector of the securities market or a particular issuer. In addition, since many municipal securities are issued to finance similar projects, such as those related to education, health care, housing, transportation, utilities, and water and sewer, conditions in these sectors can affect the overall municipal market.

Market Trading Risk

Absence of Active Market. Although shares of the Fund are listed for trading on one or more stock exchanges, there can be no assurance that an active trading market for such shares will develop or be maintained.

Risk of Secondary Listings. The Fund’s shares may be listed or traded on U.S. and non-U.S. stock exchanges other than the U.S. stock exchange where the Fund’s primary listing is maintained. There can be no assurance that the Fund’s shares will continue to trade on any such stock exchange or in any market or that the Fund’s shares will continue to meet the requirements for listing or trading on any exchange or in any market. The Fund’s shares may be less actively traded in certain markets than others, and investors are subject to the execution and settlement risks and market standards of the market where they or their broker direct their trades for execution. Certain information available to investors who trade Fund shares on a U.S. stock exchange during regular U.S. market hours may not be available to investors who trade in other markets, which may result in secondary market prices in such markets being less efficient.

 

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Secondary Market Trading Risk. Shares of the Fund may trade in the secondary market at times when the Fund does not accept orders to purchase or redeem shares. At such times, shares may trade in the secondary market with more significant premiums or discounts than might be experienced at times when the Fund accepts purchase and redemption orders.

Secondary market trading in Fund shares may be halted by a stock exchange because of market conditions or other reasons. In addition, trading in Fund shares on a stock exchange or in any market may be subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to “circuit breaker” rules on the stock exchange or market. There can be no assurance that the requirements necessary to maintain the listing or trading of Fund shares will continue to be met or will remain unchanged.

Shares of the Fund, similar to shares of other issuers listed on a stock exchange, may be sold short and are therefore subject to the risk of increased volatility associated with short selling.

Shares of the Fund May Trade at Prices Other Than NAV. Shares of the Fund trade on stock exchanges at prices at, above or below their most recent NAV. The NAV of the Fund is calculated at the end of each business day and fluctuates with changes in the market value of the Fund’s holdings since the most recent calculation. The trading prices of the Fund’s shares fluctuate continuously throughout trading hours based on market supply and demand rather than NAV. As a result, the trading prices of the Fund’s shares may deviate significantly from NAV during periods of market volatility. ANY OF THESE FACTORS, AMONG OTHERS, MAY LEAD TO THE FUND’S SHARES TRADING AT A PREMIUM OR DISCOUNT TO NAV. However, because shares can be created and redeemed in Creation Units at NAV (unlike shares of many closed-end funds, which frequently trade at appreciable discounts from, and sometimes at premiums to, their NAVs), BFA believes that large discounts or premiums to the NAV of the Fund are not likely to be sustained over the long-term. While the creation/ redemption feature is designed to make it likely that the Fund’s shares normally will trade on stock exchanges at prices close to the Fund’s next calculated NAV, exchange prices are not expected to correlate exactly with the Fund’s NAV due to timing reasons as well as market supply and demand factors. In addition, disruptions to creations and redemptions or extreme market volatility may result in trading prices for shares of the Fund that differ significantly from its NAV.

Costs of Buying or Selling Fund Shares. Buying or selling Fund shares on an exchange involves two types of costs that apply to all securities transactions. When buying or selling shares of the Fund through a broker, you will likely incur a brokerage commission or other charges imposed by brokers as determined by that broker. In addition, you may incur the cost of the “spread” – that is, the difference between what investors are willing to pay for Fund shares (the “bid” price) and the price at which they are willing to sell Fund shares (the “ask” price). Because of the costs inherent in buying or selling Fund shares, frequent trading may detract significantly from investment results and an investment in Fund shares may not be advisable for investors who anticipate regularly making small investments.

Municipal Securities Risk. Municipal securities are subject to the risk that litigation, legislation or other political events, local business or economic conditions, credit rating

 

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downgrades, or the bankruptcy of the issuer could have a significant effect on an issuer’s ability to make payments of principal and/or interest or otherwise affect the value of such securities.

Municipal securities can be significantly affected by political changes as well as uncertainties in the municipal market related to taxation, legislative changes or the rights of municipal security holders. Because many municipal securities are issued to finance similar projects, such as those related to education, health care, housing, transportation, utilities, and water and sewer, conditions in these sectors can affect the overall municipal market. In addition, changes in the financial condition of an individual municipal insurer can affect the overall municipal market.

Municipal securities backed by current or anticipated revenues from a specific project or specific assets can be negatively affected by the discontinuance of the taxation supporting the project or assets or the inability to collect revenues for the project or from the assets.

Non-Diversification Risk. The Fund is classified as “non-diversified.” This means that the Fund may invest a large percentage of its assets in securities issued by or representing a small number of issuers. As a result, the Fund may be more susceptible to the risks associated with these particular issuers, or to a single economic, political or regulatory occurrence affecting these issuers.

Passive Investment Risk. The Fund is not actively managed and may be affected by a general decline in bond market segments related to the Underlying Index. The Fund invests in securities included in, or representative of, the Underlying Index, regardless of their investment merits. BFA generally does not attempt to take defensive positions under any market conditions, including declining markets.

Securities Lending Risk. The Fund may engage in securities lending. Securities lending involves the risk that the Fund may lose money because the borrower of the Fund’s loaned securities fails to return the securities in a timely manner or at all. The Fund could also lose money in the event of a decline in the value of the collateral provided for the loaned securities or a decline in the value of any investments made with cash collateral. These events could also trigger adverse tax consequences for the Fund. Substitute payments received by the Fund with respect to municipal securities lent, if any, will not constitute tax-exempt interest income to the Fund.

Tax Risk. There is no guarantee that the Fund’s income will be exempt from U.S. federal income taxes, the federal AMT or the federal Medicare contribution tax of 3.8% on “net investment income” (effective beginning in 2013). The Index Provider relies on the bond issuer’s prospectus disclosure of the opinion from its counsel as to the tax-exempt status of the investment. Similarly, for municipal bonds not represented in the Underlying Index, BFA relies on prospectus disclosure of the tax opinion from the bond issuer’s counsel. Neither BFA nor the Fund guarantees that these opinions are correct, and there is no assurance that the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) will agree with the bond counsel’s tax opinion. Issuers or other parties generally enter into covenants requiring continuing compliance with U.S. federal tax requirements to preserve the tax-free status of interest payments over the life of the security. If at any time the covenants are not complied with, or if the IRS otherwise determines that the issuer did not comply with relevant tax requirements, interest payments from a security could

 

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become federally taxable, possibly retroactively to the date the security was issued, and the security could decline significantly in value. For municipal bonds not included in the Underlying Index, BFA will generally seek to obtain bonds that pay interest that is exempt from U.S. federal income taxes, the federal AMT and the federal Medicare tax. The interest on any money market instruments held by the Fund may be subject to the federal AMT or the federal Medicare tax.

Events occurring after the date of issuance of a municipal bond or after the Fund’s acquisition of a municipal bond may result in a determination that interest on that bond is includible in gross income for U.S. federal income tax, federal AMT or federal Medicare tax purposes retroactively to its date of issuance. Such a determination may cause a portion of prior distributions by the Fund to its shareholders to be taxable to those shareholders in the year of receipt. U.S. federal or state changes in income, federal AMT or federal Medicare tax rates or in the tax treatment of municipal bonds may make municipal bonds less attractive as investments and cause them to lose value. If the IRS determines an issuer of a municipal security has not complied with applicable tax requirements, interest from the security could become taxable, even retroactively, and the securities could decline significantly in value.

Tracking Error Risk. Tracking error is the divergence of the Fund’s performance from that of the Underlying Index. Tracking error may occur because of imperfect correlation between the Fund’s holdings of portfolio securities and those in the Underlying Index, pricing differences, the Fund’s holding of cash, differences on timing of the accrual of dividends, changes to the Underlying Index or the need to meet various regulatory requirements. This risk may be heightened during times of increased market volatility or other unusual market conditions. Tracking error also may result because the Fund incurs fees and expenses, while the Underlying Index does not.

Portfolio Holdings Information

A description of the Trust’s policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Fund’s portfolio securities is available in the Fund’s Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”). The top holdings of the Fund can be found at www.iShares.com. Fund fact sheets provide information regarding the Fund’s top holdings and may be requested by calling 1-800-iShares (1-800-474-2737).

Management

Investment Adviser. As investment adviser, BFA has overall responsibility for the general management and administration of the Trust. BFA provides an investment program for the Fund and manages the investment of the Fund’s assets. In managing the Fund, BFA may draw upon the research and expertise of its asset management affiliates with respect to certain portfolio securities. In seeking to achieve the Fund’s investment objective, BFA uses teams of portfolio managers, investment strategists and other investment specialists. This team approach brings together many disciplines and leverages BFA’s extensive resources.

Pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreement between BFA and the Trust (entered into on behalf of the Fund), BFA is responsible for substantially all expenses of the Fund, except interest expenses, taxes, brokerage expenses, future distribution fees or expenses and extraordinary expenses.

 

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For its investment advisory services to the Fund, BFA is entitled to receive a management fee from the Fund based on a percentage of the Fund’s average daily net assets, at an annual rate of 0.30%.

BFA is located at 400 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. It is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of BlackRock, Inc. (“BlackRock”). As of June 30, 2012, BFA and its affiliates provided investment advisory services for assets in excess of $3.56 trillion. BFA and its affiliates deal, trade and invest for their own accounts in the types of securities in which the Fund may also invest.

A discussion regarding the basis for the Board’s approval of the Investment Advisory Agreement with BFA is available in the Fund’s semi-annual report for the six-month period ended September 30.

Portfolio Managers. James Mauro and Scott Radell are primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund. Each Portfolio Manager is responsible for various functions related to portfolio management, including, but not limited to, investing cash inflows, coordinating with members of his portfolio management team to focus on certain asset classes, implementing investment strategy, researching and reviewing investment strategy and overseeing members of his portfolio management team that have more limited responsibilities.

James Mauro has been employed by BFA and BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A. (“BTC”) as a portfolio manager since 2011. Prior to that, Mr. Mauro was a Vice President at State Street Global Advisors. Mr. Mauro has been a Portfolio Manager of the Fund since 2011.

Scott Radell has been employed by BFA (formerly, Barclays Global Fund Advisors (“BGFA”)) and BTC (formerly, Barclays Global Investors, N.A. (“BGI”)) as a portfolio manager since 2004. Mr. Radell was a credit strategist from 2003 to 2004 and became a portfolio manager at BGFA and BGI in 2004. Mr. Radell has been a Portfolio Manager of the Fund since 2010.

The Fund’s SAI provides additional information about the Portfolio Managers’ compensation, other accounts managed by the Portfolio Managers and the Portfolio Managers’ ownership (if any) of shares in the Fund.

Administrator, Custodian and Transfer Agent. State Street Bank and Trust Company (“State Street”) is the administrator, custodian and transfer agent for the Fund.

Conflicts of Interest. BFA wants you to know that there are certain entities with which BFA has relationships that may give rise to conflicts of interest, or the appearance of conflicts of interest. These entities are BFA’s affiliates, including BlackRock and the PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., and each of their affiliates, directors, partners, trustees, managing members, officers and employees (collectively, the “Affiliates”).

The activities of BFA and the Affiliates in the management of, or their interest in, their own accounts and other accounts they manage, may present conflicts of interest that could disadvantage the Fund and its shareholders. BFA and its Affiliates provide investment management services to other funds and discretionary managed accounts that may follow an investment program similar to that of the Fund. BFA and its Affiliates

 

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are involved worldwide with a broad spectrum of financial services and asset management activities and may engage in the ordinary course of business in activities in which their interests or the interests of their clients may conflict with those of the Fund. BFA or one or more of the Affiliates acts, or may act, as an investor, investment banker, research provider, investment manager, financier, underwriter, advisor, market maker, trader, prime broker, lender, agent or principal, and have other direct and indirect interests, in securities, currencies and other instruments in which the Fund may directly or indirectly invest. Thus, it is likely that the Fund will have multiple business relationships with and will invest in, engage in transactions with, make voting decisions with respect to, or obtain services from, entities for which BFA or an Affiliate seeks to perform investment banking or other services.

BFA or one or more Affiliates may engage in proprietary trading and advise accounts and funds that have investment objectives similar to those of the Fund and/or that engage in and compete for transactions in the same types of securities, currencies and other instruments as the Fund, including in securities issued by other open-end and closed-end investment management companies, including investment companies that are affiliated with the Fund and BFA, to the extent permitted under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). The trading activities of BFA and these Affiliates are carried out without reference to positions held directly or indirectly by the Fund and may result in BFA or an Affiliate having positions that are adverse to those of the Fund.

No Affiliate is under any obligation to share any investment opportunity, idea or strategy with the Fund. As a result, an Affiliate may compete with the Fund for appropriate investment opportunities. As a result of this and several other factors, the results of the Fund’s investment activities may differ from those of an Affiliate and of other accounts managed by an Affiliate, and it is possible that the Fund could sustain losses during periods in which one or more Affiliates and other accounts achieve profits on their trading for proprietary or other accounts. The opposite result is also possible.

The Fund may, from time to time, enter into transactions in which BFA or an Affiliate’s clients have an interest adverse to the Fund. Furthermore, transactions undertaken by Affiliate-advised clients may adversely impact the Fund. Transactions by one or more Affiliate-advised clients or BFA may have the effect of diluting or otherwise disadvantaging the values, prices or investment strategies of the Fund.

The Fund’s activities may be limited because of regulatory restrictions applicable to one or more Affiliates, and/or their internal policies designed to comply with such restrictions. In addition, the Fund may invest in securities of companies with which an Affiliate has developed or is trying to develop investment banking relationships or in which an Affiliate has significant debt or equity investments. The Fund also may invest in securities of companies for which an Affiliate provides or may someday provide research coverage. An Affiliate may have business relationships with and purchase or distribute or sell services or products from or to distributors, consultants or others who recommend the Fund or who engage in transactions with or for the Fund, and may receive compensation for such services. The Fund may also make brokerage and other payments to Affiliates in connection with the Fund’s portfolio investment transactions.

 

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Pursuant to a securities lending program approved by the Board, the Fund has retained an Affiliate of BFA to serve as the securities lending agent for the Fund to the extent that the Fund participates in the securities lending program. For these services, the lending agent may receive a fee from the Fund, including a fee based on the returns earned on the Fund’s investment of the cash received as collateral for any loaned securities. In addition, one or more Affiliates may be among the entities to which the Fund may lend its portfolio securities under the securities lending program.

The activities of BFA or the Affiliates may give rise to other conflicts of interest that could disadvantage the Fund and its shareholders. BFA has adopted policies and procedures designed to address these potential conflicts of interest. See the Fund’s SAI for further information.

Legal Proceedings. On January 18, 2013, a lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee by Laborers’ Local 265 Pension Fund and Plumbers and Pipefitters Local No. 572 Pension Fund against BFA, BTC, and the current members of the iShares Trust Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors of iShares, Inc. (collectively, “Defendants”) for alleged violations of, among other things, Sections 36(a) and 36(b) of the 1940 Act. The complaint purports to be brought derivatively on behalf of iShares Trust and iShares, Inc., as well as the following eight funds: iShares Russell MidCap Index Fund; iShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund; iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund; iShares Russell 2000 Growth Index Fund; iShares Russell 2000 Value Index Fund; iShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF; iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF; and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index Fund (the “Funds”). The complaint alleges, among other things, that BFA and BTC breached their fiduciary duties under the 1940 Act by charging allegedly excessive fees in connection with the provision of securities lending services to the Funds, that the individual defendants breached their fiduciary duties under the 1940 Act by approving those fee arrangements, and that the securities lending contracts are unenforceable under Section 47(b) of the 1940 Act. Plaintiffs seek injunctive relief, rescission of the securities lending contracts and, monetary damages of an unspecified amount. Defendants believe the claims are without merit and intend to vigorously defend themselves against the allegations in the lawsuit. On March 11, 2013, the Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

Shareholder Information

Additional shareholder information, including how to buy and sell shares of the Fund, is available free of charge by calling toll-free: 1-800-iShares (1-800-474-2737) or visiting our website at www.iShares.com.

Buying and Selling Shares. Shares of the Fund may be acquired or redeemed directly from the Fund only in Creation Units or multiples thereof, as discussed in the Creations and Redemptions section of this Prospectus. Only an Authorized Participant (as defined in the Creations and Redemptions section) may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the Fund. Once created, shares of the Fund generally trade in the secondary market in amounts less than a Creation Unit.

Shares of the Fund are listed on a national securities exchange for trading during the trading day. Shares can be bought and sold throughout the trading day like shares of other publicly traded companies. The Trust does not impose any minimum investment

 

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for shares of the Fund purchased on an exchange. The Fund’s shares trade under the trading symbol “MUAC.”

Buying or selling Fund shares on an exchange involves two types of costs that may apply to all securities transactions. When buying or selling shares of the Fund through a broker, you will likely incur a brokerage commission or other charges determined by your broker. The commission is frequently a fixed amount and may be a significant proportional cost for investors seeking to buy or sell small amounts of shares. In addition, you may incur the cost of the “spread,” that is, any difference between the bid price and the ask price. The spread varies over time for shares of the Fund based on the Fund’s trading volume and market liquidity, and is generally lower if the Fund has a lot of trading volume and market liquidity, and higher if the Fund has little trading volume and market liquidity.

The Board has adopted a policy of not monitoring for frequent purchases and redemptions of Fund shares (“frequent trading”) that appear to attempt to take advantage of a potential arbitrage opportunity presented by a lag between a change in the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities after the close of the primary markets for the Fund’s portfolio securities and the reflection of that change in the Fund’s NAV (“market timing”), because the Fund generally sells and redeems its shares directly through transactions that are in-kind and/or for cash, subject to the conditions described below under Creations and Redemptions. The Board has not adopted a policy of monitoring for other frequent trading activity because shares of the Fund are listed for trading on a national securities exchange.

The national securities exchange on which the Fund’s shares are listed is open for trading Monday through Friday and is closed on weekends and the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The Fund’s primary listing exchange is NYSE Arca.

Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act restricts investments by investment companies in the securities of other investment companies. Registered investment companies are permitted to invest in the Fund beyond the limits set forth in Section 12(d)(1), subject to certain terms and conditions set forth in SEC rules or in an SEC exemptive order issued to the Trust. In order for a registered investment company to invest in shares of the Fund beyond the limitations of Section 12(d)(1) pursuant to the exemptive relief obtained by the Trust, the registered investment company must enter into an agreement with the Trust.

Book Entry. Shares of the Fund are held in book-entry form, which means that no stock certificates are issued. The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) or its nominee is the record owner of all outstanding shares of the Fund and is recognized as the owner of all shares for all purposes.

Investors owning shares of the Fund are beneficial owners as shown on the records of DTC or its participants. DTC serves as the securities depository for shares of the Fund. DTC participants include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and other institutions that directly or indirectly maintain a custodial relationship with DTC. As a beneficial owner of shares, you are not entitled to receive physical delivery of stock certificates or to have shares registered in your name,

 

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and you are not considered a registered owner of shares. Therefore, to exercise any right as an owner of shares, you must rely upon the procedures of DTC and its participants. These procedures are the same as those that apply to any other securities that you hold in book-entry or “street name” form.

Share Prices. The trading prices of the Fund’s shares in the secondary market generally differ from the Fund’s daily NAV and are affected by market forces such as supply and demand, economic conditions and other factors. Information regarding the intraday value of shares of the Fund, also known as the “indicative optimized portfolio value” (“IOPV”), is disseminated every 15 seconds throughout the trading day by the national securities exchange on which the Fund’s shares are listed or by market data vendors or other information providers. The IOPV is based on the current market value of the securities and/or cash required to be deposited in exchange for a Creation Unit. The IOPV does not necessarily reflect the precise composition of the current portfolio of securities held by the Fund at a particular point in time or the best possible valuation of the current portfolio. Therefore, the IOPV should not be viewed as a “real-time” update of the Fund’s NAV, which is computed only once a day. The IOPV is generally determined by using both current market quotations and/or price quotations obtained from broker-dealers that may trade in the portfolio securities held by the Fund. The quotations of certain Fund holdings may not be updated during U.S. trading hours if such holdings do not trade in the United States. The Fund is not involved in, or responsible for, the calculation or dissemination of the IOPV and makes no representation or warranty as to its accuracy.

Determination of Net Asset Value. The NAV of the Fund normally is determined once daily Monday through Friday, generally as of the regularly scheduled close of business of the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) (normally 4:00 p.m., Eastern time) on each day that the NYSE is open for trading, based on prices at the time of closing provided that (a) any Fund assets or liabilities denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar are translated into U.S. dollars at the prevailing market rates on the date of valuation as quoted by one or more data service providers and (b) U.S. fixed-income assets may be valued as of the announced closing time for trading in fixed-income instruments in a particular market or exchange. The NAV of the Fund is calculated by dividing the value of the net assets of the Fund (i.e., the value of its total assets less total liabilities) by the total number of outstanding shares of the Fund, generally rounded to the nearest cent.

The value of the securities and other assets and liabilities held by the Fund are determined pursuant to valuation policies and procedures approved by the Board. The Fund’s assets and liabilities are valued primarily on the basis of market quotations.

The Fund values fixed income portfolio securities using prices provided directly from one or more broker-dealers, market makers, or independent third-party pricing services which may use matrix pricing and valuation models to derive values. Certain short-term debt securities may be valued on the basis of amortized cost.

Generally, trading in non-U.S. securities, U.S. government securities, money market instruments and certain fixed-income securities is substantially completed each day at various times prior to the close of business on the NYSE. The values of such securities used in computing the NAV of the Fund are determined as of such times.

 

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When market quotations are not readily available or are believed by BFA to be unreliable, the Fund’s investments are valued at fair value. Fair value determinations are made by BFA in accordance with policies and procedures approved by the Fund’s Board. BFA may conclude that a market quotation is not readily available or is unreliable if a security or other asset or liability does not have a price source due to its lack of liquidity, if a market quotation differs significantly from recent price quotations or otherwise no longer appears to reflect fair value, where the security or other asset or liability is thinly traded, or where there is a significant event subsequent to the most recent market quotation. A “significant event” is an event that, in the judgment of BFA, is likely to cause a material change to the closing market price of the asset or liability held by the Fund. Non-U.S. securities whose values are affected by volatility that occurs in U.S. markets on a trading day after the close of non-U.S. securities markets may be fair valued.

Fair value represents a good faith approximation of the value of an asset or liability. The fair value of an asset or liability held by the Fund is the amount the Fund might reasonably expect to receive from the current sale of that asset or the cost to extinguish that liability in an arm’s-length transaction. Valuing the Fund’s investments using fair value pricing will result in prices that may differ from current market valuations and that may not be the prices at which those investments could have been sold during the period in which the particular fair values were used. Use of fair value prices and certain current market valuations could result in a difference between the prices used to calculate the Fund’s NAV and the prices used by the Underlying Index, which, in turn, could result in a difference between the Fund’s performance and the performance of the Underlying Index.

Dividends and Distributions

General Policies. Dividends from net investment income, if any, generally are declared and paid monthly by the Fund. Distributions of net realized securities gains, if any, generally are declared and paid once a year, but the Trust may make distributions on a more frequent basis for the Fund. The Trust reserves the right to declare special distributions if, in its reasonable discretion, such action is necessary or advisable to preserve its status as a regulated investment company or to avoid imposition of income or excise taxes on undistributed income or realized gains.

Dividends and other distributions on shares of the Fund are distributed on a pro rata basis to beneficial owners of such shares. Dividend payments are made through DTC participants and indirect participants to beneficial owners then of record with proceeds received from the Fund.

Dividend Reinvestment Service. No dividend reinvestment service is provided by the Trust. Broker-dealers may make available the DTC book-entry Dividend Reinvestment Service for use by beneficial owners of the Fund for reinvestment of their dividend distributions. Beneficial owners should contact their broker to determine the availability and costs of the service and the details of participation therein. Brokers may require beneficial owners to adhere to specific procedures and timetables. If this service is available and used, dividend distributions of both income and realized gains will be automatically reinvested in additional whole shares of the Fund purchased in the secondary market.

 

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Taxes. As with any investment, you should consider how your investment in shares of the Fund will be taxed. The tax information in this Prospectus is provided as general information, based on current law. You should consult your own tax professional about the tax consequences of an investment in shares of the Fund.

Unless your investment in Fund shares is made through a tax-exempt entity or tax-deferred retirement account, such as an IRA, you need to be aware of the possible tax consequences when the Fund makes distributions or you sell Fund shares. In general, given its investment strategy, the Fund would not be an appropriate investment for a tax deferred retirement account such as an IRA.

Taxes on Distributions. Dividends paid by the Fund that are properly reported as tax-exempt interest dividends will not be subject to regular U.S. federal income tax. The Fund intends to invest its assets in a manner such that dividend distributions to its shareholders will generally be exempt from U.S. federal income taxation, including the federal AMT. Dividends paid by the Fund will be exempt from U.S. federal income tax (though not necessarily exempt from state and local taxation) to the extent of the Fund’s tax-exempt interest income as long as 50% or more of the value of the Fund’s assets at the end of each quarter is invested in state, municipal and other bonds that are excluded from gross income for U.S. federal income tax purposes and as long as the Fund properly reports such dividends as tax-exempt interest dividends. Exempt interest dividends from interest earned on municipal securities of a state, or its political subdivisions, may be exempt from income tax in that state. However, income from municipal securities of other states generally will not qualify for tax-free treatment.

Distributions from the Fund’s net investment income other than from net tax-exempt income, including distributions of income from securities lending and distributions out of the Fund’s net short-term capital gains, if any, are taxable to you as ordinary income. The Fund’s distributions of net long-term capital gains, if any, in excess of net short-term capital losses (capital gain dividends) are taxable to you as long-term capital gains, regardless of how long you have held the Fund’s shares. Distributions taxable as ordinary income or capital gains will be subject to a 3.8% U.S. federal Medicare contribution tax on “net investment income,” beginning in 2013 for individuals with incomes exceeding $200,000 ($250,000 if married and filing jointly). Distributions from the Fund are not expected to qualify as qualified dividend income. In general, any taxable distributions are subject to U.S. federal income tax for the year when they are paid. Certain distributions paid in January, however, may be treated as paid on December 31 of the prior year.

Any market discount recognized on a bond is taxable as ordinary income. A market discount bond is a bond acquired in the secondary market at a price below redemption value or adjusted issue price if issued with original issue discount. Absent an election by the Fund to include the market discount in income as it accrues, gain on the Fund’s disposition of such an obligation will be treated as ordinary income rather than capital gain to the extent of the accrued market discount.

If you lend your Fund shares pursuant to securities lending arrangements, you may lose the ability to treat Fund dividends (paid while the shares are held by the borrower) as tax-exempt income. Consult your financial intermediary or tax adviser.

 

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A 30% withholding tax will be imposed on dividends paid after December 31, 2013, and redemption proceeds paid after December 31, 2014, to (i) foreign financial institutions including non-U.S. investment funds unless they agree to collect and disclose to the IRS information regarding their direct and indirect U.S. account holders and (ii) certain other foreign entities unless they certify certain information regarding their direct and indirect U.S. owners. To avoid withholding, foreign financial institutions will need to enter into agreements with the IRS which state that they will provide the IRS information including the name, address and taxpayer identification number of direct and indirect U.S. account holders, comply with due diligence procedures with respect to the identification of U.S. accounts, report to the IRS certain information with respect to U.S. accounts maintained, agree to withhold tax on certain payments made to non-compliant foreign financial institutions or to account holders who fail to provide the required information, and determine certain other information as to their account holders. Other foreign entities will need to provide the name, address, and taxpayer identification number of each substantial U.S. owner or certifications of no substantial U.S. ownership unless certain exceptions apply.

If you are a resident or a citizen of the United States, by law, back-up withholding (currently at a rate of 28%) will apply to your distributions and proceeds if you have not provided a taxpayer identification number or social security number and made other required certifications.

Shareholders will receive information after the end of each year setting forth the amount of dividends and long-term capital gains distributed to them by the Fund during the prior year. Likewise, the amount of tax-exempt income that the Fund distributes will be reported and such income must be reported on the shareholder’s U.S. federal income tax return.

Taxes When Shares are Sold. Currently, any capital gain or loss realized upon a sale of Fund shares is generally treated as a long-term gain or loss if the shares have been held for more than one year. Any capital gain or loss realized upon a sale of Fund shares held for one year or less is generally treated as short-term gain or loss, except that any capital loss on the sale of shares held for six months or less is treated as long-term capital loss to the extent that capital gain dividends were paid with respect to such shares. Beginning in 2013, any such capital gains, including from sales of Fund shares or from capital gain dividends, will be included in “net investment income” for purposes of the 3.8% U.S. federal Medicare contribution tax mentioned above.

The foregoing discussion summarizes some of the consequences under current U.S. federal tax law of an investment in the Fund. It is not a substitute for personal tax advice. You may also be subject to state and local taxation on Fund distributions and sales of shares. Consult your personal tax adviser about the potential tax consequences of an investment in shares of the Fund under all applicable tax laws.

Creations and Redemptions. Prior to trading in the secondary market, shares of the Fund are “created” at NAV by market makers, large investors and institutions only in block-size Creation Units of 50,000 shares or multiples thereof. Each “creator” or “Authorized Participant” enters into an authorized participant agreement with the Fund’s distributor, BlackRock Investments, LLC (the “Distributor”), an affiliate of BFA.

 

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A creation transaction, which is subject to acceptance by the transfer agent, generally takes place when an Authorized Participant deposits into the Fund a designated portfolio of securities (including any portion of such securities for which cash may be substituted) (“Deposit Securities”) and a specified amount of cash approximating the holdings of the Fund in exchange for a specified number of Creation Units. To the extent practicable, the composition of such portfolio generally corresponds pro rata to the holdings of the Fund.

Similarly, shares can be redeemed only in Creation Units, generally for a designated portfolio of securities (including any portion of such securities for which cash may be substituted) held by the Fund (“Fund Securities”) and a specified amount of cash. Except when aggregated in Creation Units, shares are not redeemable by the Fund.

The prices at which creations and redemptions occur are based on the next calculation of NAV after a creation or redemption order is received in an acceptable form under the authorized participant agreement.

The portfolio of securities required for purchase of a Creation Unit may be different than the portfolio of securities the Fund will deliver upon redemption of Fund shares. The Deposit Securities and Fund Securities, as applicable, in connection with a purchase or redemption of a Creation Unit, generally will correspond pro rata, to the extent practicable, to the securities held by the Fund.

Only an Authorized Participant may create or redeem Creation Units directly with the Fund.

As a result of any system failure or other interruption, orders either may not be executed according to the Fund’s instructions or may not be executed at all, or the Fund may not be able to place or change orders.

To the extent the Fund engages in in-kind transactions, the Fund intends to comply with the U.S. federal securities laws in accepting securities for deposit and satisfying redemptions with redemption securities by, among other means, assuring that any securities accepted for deposit and any securities used to satisfy redemption requests will be sold in transactions that would be exempt from registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “1933 Act”). Further, an Authorized Participant that is not a “qualified institutional buyer,” as such term is defined under Rule 144A of the 1933 Act, will not be able to receive securities that are restricted securities eligible for resale under Rule 144A.

Creations and redemptions must be made through a firm that is either a member of the Continuous Net Settlement System of the National Securities Clearing Corporation or a DTC participant and has executed an agreement with the Distributor with respect to creations and redemptions of Creation Unit aggregations. Information about the procedures regarding creation and redemption of Creation Units (including the cut-off times for receipt of creation and redemption orders) is included in the Fund’s SAI.

Because new shares may be created and issued on an ongoing basis, at any point during the life of the Fund a “distribution,” as such term is used in the 1933 Act, may be occurring. Broker-dealers and other persons are cautioned that some activities on their part may, depending on the circumstances, result in their being deemed participants in a distribution in a manner that could render them statutory underwriters and subject to the prospectus delivery and liability provisions of the 1933 Act. Any determination of

 

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whether one is an underwriter must take into account all the relevant facts and circumstances of each particular case.

Broker-dealers should also note that dealers who are not “underwriters” but are participating in a distribution (as contrasted to ordinary secondary transactions), and thus dealing with shares that are part of an “unsold allotment” within the meaning of Section 4(3)(C) of the 1933 Act, would be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(3) of the 1933 Act. For delivery of prospectuses to exchange members, the prospectus delivery mechanism of Rule 153 under the 1933 Act is available only with respect to transactions on a national securities exchange.

Costs Associated with Creations and Redemptions. Authorized Participants are charged standard creation and redemption transaction fees to offset transfer, processing and other transaction costs associated with the issuance and redemption of Creation Units. The standard creation and redemption transaction fees are set forth in the table below. The standard creation transaction fee is charged to the Authorized Participant on the day such Authorized Participant creates a Creation Unit, and is the same regardless of the number of Creation Units purchased by the Authorized Participant on the applicable business day. Similarly, the standard redemption transaction fee is charged to the Authorized Participant on the day such Authorized Participant redeems a Creation Unit, and is the same regardless of the number of Creation Units redeemed by the Authorized Participant on the applicable business day. Creations and redemptions for cash (when cash creations and redemptions (in whole or in part) are available or specified) are also subject to an additional charge (up to the maximum amounts shown in the table below). This charge is intended to compensate for brokerage, tax, foreign exchange, execution, market impact and other costs and expenses related to cash transactions. Investors who use the services of a broker or other financial intermediary to acquire or dispose of Fund shares may pay fees for such services.

The following table shows, as of May 31, 2012, the approximate value of one Creation Unit, standard fees and maximum additional charges for creations and redemptions (as described above):

 

Approximate
Value of a
Creation Unit

 

Creation

Unit Size

 

Standard
Creation/
Redemption
Transaction Fee

 

Maximum Additional
Charge for
Creations*

 

Maximum Additional
Charge for
Redemptions*

$2,582,500   50,000   $100   3.0%   2.0%

 

 

  * As a percentage of the net asset value per Creation Unit, inclusive, in the case of redemptions, of the standard redemption transaction fee.

Householding. Householding is an option available to certain Fund investors. Householding is a method of delivery, based on the preference of the individual investor, in which a single copy of certain shareholder documents can be delivered to investors who share the same address, even if their accounts are registered under different names. Please contact your broker-dealer if you are interested in enrolling in householding and receiving a single copy of prospectuses and other shareholder documents, or if you are currently enrolled in householding and wish to change your householding status.

 

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Distribution

The Distributor distributes Creation Units for the Fund on an agency basis. The Distributor does not maintain a secondary market in shares of the Fund. The Distributor has no role in determining the policies of the Fund or the securities that are purchased or sold by the Fund. The Distributor’s principal address is 525 Washington Boulevard, Suite 1405, Jersey City, NJ 07310.

In addition, BFA or its Affiliates make payments to broker-dealers, registered investment advisors, banks or other intermediaries (together, “intermediaries”) related to marketing activities and presentations, educational training programs, conferences, the development of technology platforms and reporting systems, or their making shares of the Fund and certain other iShares funds available to their customers generally and in certain investment programs. Such payments, which may be significant to the intermediary, are not made by the Fund. Rather, such payments are made by BFA or its Affiliates from their own resources, which come directly or indirectly in part from fees paid by the iShares funds complex. Payments of this type are sometimes referred to as revenue-sharing payments. A financial intermediary may make decisions about which investment options it recommends or makes available, or the level of services provided, to its customers based on the payments it is eligible to receive. Therefore, such payments to an intermediary create conflicts of interest between the intermediary and its customers and may cause the intermediary to recommend the Fund or other iShares funds over another investment. More information regarding these payments is contained in the Fund’s SAI. Please contact your salesperson or other investment professional for more information regarding any such payments his or her firm may receive from BFA or its Affiliates.

 

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Financial Highlights

The financial highlights table is intended to help investors understand the Fund’s financial performance since inception. Certain information reflects financial results for a single share of the Fund. The total returns in the table represent the rate that an investor would have earned (or lost) on an investment in the Fund, assuming reinvestment of all dividends and distributions. This information has been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, whose report is included, along with the Fund’s financial statements, in the Fund’s Annual Report (available upon request).

Financial Highlights

(For a share outstanding throughout each period)

 

    

Year ended
Mar. 31, 2012

   

Year ended
Mar. 31, 2011

   

Period from
Jan. 7, 2010a
to
Mar. 31, 2010

 

Net asset value, beginning of period

   $ 50.61      $ 50.02      $ 50.03   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Income from investment operations:

      

Net investment incomeb

     0.53        0.68        0.15   

Net realized and unrealized gain (loss)c

     1.05        0.59        (0.06
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total from investment operations

     1.58        1.27        0.09   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Less distributions from:

      

Net investment income

     (0.57     (0.68     (0.10
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total distributions

     (0.57     (0.68     (0.10
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net asset value, end of period

   $ 51.62      $ 50.61      $ 50.02   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total return

     3.14     2.55     0.17 %d 
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Ratios/Supplemental data:

      

Net assets, end of period (000s)

   $ 38,717      $ 25,305      $ 5,002   

Ratio of expenses to average net assetse

     0.30     0.30     0.30

Ratio of net investment income to average net assetse

     1.04     1.34     1.33

Portfolio turnover ratef

     1     0 %g      0

 

 

  a

Commencement of operations.

  b

Based on average shares outstanding throughout each period.

  c

The amounts reported for a share outstanding may not accord with the change in aggregate gains and losses in securities for the fiscal period due to the timing of capital share transactions in relation to the fluctuating market values of the Fund’s underlying securities.

  d

Not annualized.

  e

Annualized for periods of less than one year.

  f

Portfolio turnover rates exclude portfolio securities received or delivered as a result of processing capital share transactions in Creation Units.

  g

Rounds to less than 1%.

 

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Index Provider

S&P is the Index Provider for the Underlying Index and is not affiliated with the Trust, BFA, State Street, the Distributor or any of their respective affiliates.

S&P provides financial, economic and investment information and analytical services to the financial community. S&P calculates and maintains the S&P Global 1200TM, which includes the S&P 500® for the United States, the S&P Europe 350TM for Continental Europe and the United Kingdom, the S&P/TOPIX 150TM for Japan, the S&P Asia 50TM, the S&P/TSX 60TM for Canada, the S&P/ASX 50TM and the S&P Latin America 40TM. S&P also publishes the S&P MidCap 400®, S&P SmallCap 600®, S&P Composite 1500® and S&P REIT CompositeTM for the United States. S&P calculates and maintains the S&P Global Broad Market Index (BMI) Series, a set of comprehensive rules-based equity benchmarks covering developed and emerging countries around the world. Company additions to and deletions from a S&P equity index do not in any way reflect an opinion on the investment merits of the company.

BFA or its affiliates has entered into a license agreement with the Index Provider to use the Underlying Index. BFA or its affiliates sublicenses rights in the Underlying Index to the Trust at no charge.

Disclaimers

The Fund is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by S&P or its affiliates. S&P and its affiliates make no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of shares of the Fund or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally or in the Fund particularly or the ability of the Underlying Index to track general stock market performance. S&P and its affiliates’ only relationship to the Trust and BFA or its affiliates is the licensing of certain trademarks and trade names of S&P and its affiliates and of the Underlying Index which is determined, composed and calculated by S&P and its affiliates without regard to the Trust, BFA or its affiliates or the Fund. S&P and its affiliates have no obligation to take the needs of BFA or its affiliates or the owners of shares of the Fund into consideration in determining, composing or calculating the Underlying Index. S&P and its affiliates are not responsible for and have not participated in the determination of the prices and amount of shares of the Fund, or the timing of the issuance or sale of such shares or in the determination or calculation of the equation by which shares of the Fund are to be converted into cash. S&P and its affiliates have no obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of shares of the Fund. S&P and its affiliates do not guarantee the accuracy or the completeness of the Underlying Index or any data included therein and S&P and its affiliates shall have no liability for any errors, omissions, or interruptions therein.

S&P AND ITS AFFILIATES MAKE NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED BY BFA OR ITS AFFILIATES, OWNERS OF SHARES OF THE FUND OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY FROM THE USE OF THE UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. S&P AND ITS AFFILIATES MAKE NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES AND EXPRESSLY

 

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DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE WITH RESPECT TO THE UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT SHALL S&P AND ITS AFFILIATES HAVE ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, DIRECT, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING LOST PROFITS) RESULTING FROM THE USE OF THE UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN, EVEN IF NOTIFIED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

Shares of the Fund are not sponsored, endorsed or promoted by NYSE Arca. NYSE Arca makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of the shares of the Fund or any member of the public regarding the ability of the Fund to track the total return performance of the Underlying Index or the ability of the Underlying Index to track stock market performance. NYSE Arca is not responsible for, nor has it participated in, the determination of the compilation or the calculation of the Underlying Index, nor in the determination of the timing of, prices of, or quantities of shares of the Fund to be issued, nor in the determination or calculation of the equation by which the shares are redeemable. NYSE Arca has no obligation or liability to owners of the shares of the Fund in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the shares of the Fund.

NYSE Arca does not guarantee the accuracy and/or the completeness of the Underlying Index or any data included therein. NYSE Arca makes no warranty, express or implied, as to results to be obtained by the Trust on behalf of the Fund as licensee, licensee’s customers and counterparties, owners of the shares of the Fund, or any other person or entity from the use of the subject index or any data included therein in connection with the rights licensed as described herein or for any other use. NYSE Arca makes no express or implied warranties and hereby expressly disclaims all warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose with respect to the Underlying Index or any data included therein. Without limiting any of the foregoing, in no event shall NYSE Arca have any liability for any direct, indirect, special, punitive, consequential or any other damages (including lost profits) even if notified of the possibility of such damages.

BFA does not guarantee the accuracy or the completeness of the Underlying Index or any data included therein and BFA shall have no liability for any errors, omissions or interruptions therein.

BFA makes no warranty, express or implied, to the owners of shares of the Fund or to any other person or entity, as to results to be obtained by the Fund from the use of the Underlying Index or any data included therein. BFA makes no express or implied warranties and expressly disclaims all warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose or use with respect to the Underlying Index or any data included therein. Without limiting any of the foregoing, in no event shall BFA have any liability for any special, punitive, direct, indirect or consequential damages (including lost profits), even if notified of the possibility of such damages.

 

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Supplemental Information

I. Premium/Discount Information

The table that follows presents information about the differences between the daily market price on secondary markets for shares of the Fund and the Fund’s NAV. NAV is the price at which the Fund issues and redeems shares. It is calculated in accordance with the standard formula for valuing mutual fund shares. The price used to calculate market returns (“Market Price”) of the Fund generally is determined using the midpoint between the highest bid and the lowest offer on the primary securities exchange on which shares of the Fund are listed for trading, as of the time that the Fund’s NAV is calculated. The Fund’s Market Price may be at, above or below its NAV. The NAV of the Fund will fluctuate with changes in the value of its portfolio holdings. The Market Price of the Fund will fluctuate in accordance with changes in its NAV, as well as market supply and demand.

Premiums or discounts are the differences (expressed as a percentage) between the NAV and Market Price of the Fund on a given day, generally at the time the NAV is calculated. A premium is the amount that the Fund is trading above the reported NAV, expressed as a percentage of the NAV. A discount is the amount that the Fund is trading below the reported NAV, expressed as a percentage of the NAV.

The following information shows the frequency of distributions of premiums and discounts for the Fund for each full calendar quarter of 2011 through June 30, 2012.

Each line in the table shows the number of trading days in which the Fund traded within the premium/discount range indicated. The number of trading days in each premium/ discount range is also shown as a percentage of the total number of trading days in the period covered by the table. All data presented here represents past performance, which cannot be used to predict future results.

 

Premium/Discount Range

   Number of Days        Percentage of Total Days  
Greater than 1.5%      1           0.27%   
Greater than 1.0% and Less than 1.5%      6           1.59     
Greater than 0.5% and Less than 1.0%      23           6.10     
Between 0.5% and -0.5%      319           84.61     
Less than -0.5% and Greater than -1.0%      25           6.63     
Less than -1.0% and Greater than -1.5%      3           0.80     
  

 

 

      

 

 

 
     377           100.00%   
  

 

 

      

 

 

 

 

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II. Total Return Information

The table that follows presents information about the total returns of the Fund and the Underlying Index as of the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012.

“Average Annual Total Returns” represent the average annual change in value of an investment over the periods indicated. “Cumulative Total Returns” represent the total change in value of an investment over the period indicated.

The Fund’s NAV is the value of one share of the Fund as calculated in accordance with the standard formula for valuing mutual fund shares. The NAV return is based on the NAV of the Fund and the market return is based on the Market Price of the Fund. Market Price is determined by using the midpoint between the highest bid and the lowest offer on the primary stock exchange on which shares of the Fund are listed for trading, as of the time that the Fund’s NAV is calculated. Since shares of the Fund did not trade in the secondary market until after the Fund’s inception, for the period from inception to the first day of secondary market trading in shares of the Fund, the NAV of the Fund is used as a proxy for the Market Price to calculate market returns. Market and NAV returns assume that dividends and capital gain distributions have been reinvested in the Fund at Market Price and NAV, respectively.

An index is a statistical composite that tracks a specified financial market or sector. Unlike the Fund, the Underlying Index does not actually hold a portfolio of securities and therefore does not incur the expenses incurred by the Fund. These expenses negatively impact the performance of the Fund. Also, market returns do not include brokerage commissions that may be payable on secondary market transactions. If brokerage commissions were included, market returns would be lower. The returns shown in the following table do not reflect the deduction of taxes that a shareholder would pay on Fund distributions or the redemption or sale of Fund shares. The investment return and principal value of shares of the Fund will vary with changes in market conditions. Shares of the Fund may be worth more or less than their original cost when they are redeemed or sold in the market. The Fund’s past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Performance as of March 31, 2012

 

Average Annual Total Returns   Cumulative Total Returns
Year Ended 3/31/12   Inception to 3/31/12*   Inception to 3/31/12*
NAV   MARKET   INDEX   NAV   MARKET   INDEX   NAV   MARKET   INDEX
3.14%   3.29%   3.30%   2.62%   2.79%   3.04%   5.95%   6.33%   6.99%

 

 

  * Total returns for the period since inception are calculated from the inception date of the Fund (1/7/10). The first day of secondary market trading in shares of the Fund was 1/8/10.

 

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LOGO

 

 

 

For more information visit www.iShares.com or call 1-800-474-2737

Copies of the Prospectus, SAI and recent shareholder reports can be found on our website at www.iShares.com. For more information about the Fund, you may request a copy of the SAI. The SAI provides detailed information about the Fund and is incorporated by reference into this Prospectus. This means that the SAI, for legal purposes, is a part of this Prospectus.

Additional information about the Fund’s investments is available in the Fund’s Annual and Semi-Annual reports to shareholders. In the Fund’s Annual Report, you will find a discussion of the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected the Fund’s performance during the last fiscal year.

If you have any questions about the Trust or shares of the Fund or you wish to obtain the SAI, Semi-Annual or Annual report free of charge, please:

 

  Call: 1-800-iShares or 1-800-474-2737 (toll free) Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (Eastern time)

 

  Email: iSharesETFs@blackrock.com

 

  Write: c/o BlackRock Investments, LLC 525 Washington Boulevard, Suite 1405, Jersey City, NJ 07310

Information about the Fund (including the SAI) can be reviewed and copied at the SEC’s Public Reference Room in Washington, D.C., and information on the operation of the Public Reference Room may be obtained by calling the SEC at 1-202-551-8090. Reports and other information about the Fund are available on the EDGAR database on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov, and copies of this information may be obtained, after paying a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the following e-mail address: publicinfo@sec.gov, or by writing to the SEC’s Public Reference Section, Washington, D.C. 20549-1520.

No person is authorized to give any information or to make any representations about the Fund and its shares not contained in this Prospectus and you should not rely on any other information. Read and keep the Prospectus for future reference.

Investment Company Act File No.: 811-09729

 

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   LOGO

 

IS-P-MUAC-0413


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LOGO   

August 1, 2012

(as revised April 15, 2013)

2012 Prospectus

 

iShares 2015 S&P AMT-Free Municipal Series

MUAD • NYSE ARCA

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has not approved or disapproved these securities or passed upon the adequacy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

 

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

 

Fund Overview      S-1   
More Information About the Fund      1   
A Further Discussion of Principal Risks      2   
Portfolio Holdings Information      7   
Management      7   
Shareholder Information      10   
Distribution      18   
Financial Highlights      19   
Index Provider      20   
Disclaimers      20   
Supplemental Information      22   

 

“STANDARD & POOR’S®,” “S&P®,” “S&P INDICES®” and “S&P AMT-Free Municipal Series 2015 IndexTM” are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and have been licensed for use by BlackRock Fund Advisors or its affiliates. iShares® is a registered trademark of BlackRock Fund Advisors or its affiliates.

 

 

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iSHARES® 2015 S&P AMT-FREE MUNICIPAL SERIES

 

Ticker: MUAD   Stock Exchange: NYSE Arca

Investment Objective

The iShares 2015 S&P AMT-Free Municipal Series (the “Fund”) seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the S&P AMT-Free Municipal Series 2015 IndexTM (the “Underlying Index”). The Fund does not seek to return any predetermined amount at maturity.

Fees and Expenses

The following table describes the fees and expenses that you will incur if you own shares of the Fund. The investment advisory agreement between iShares Trust (the “Trust”) and BlackRock Fund Advisors (“BFA”) (the “Investment Advisory Agreement”) provides that BFA will pay all operating expenses of the Fund, except interest expenses, taxes, brokerage expenses, future distribution fees or expenses, and extraordinary expenses.

You may also incur usual and customary brokerage commissions when buying or selling shares of the Fund, which are not reflected in the example that follows:

 

Annual Fund Operating Expenses

(ongoing expenses that you pay each year as a

percentage of the value of your investments)

Management

Fees

 

Distribution and
Service (12b-1)
Fees

 

Other

Expenses

 

Total Annual
Fund

Operating
Expenses

0.30%   None   None   0.30%

Example. This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of owning shares of the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then sell all of your shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions, your costs would be:

 

1 Year

 

3 Years

 

5 Years

 

10 Years

$31   $97   $169   $381

Portfolio Turnover. The Fund may pay transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Fund shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in Annual Fund Operating Expenses or in the Example, affect the Fund’s performance. During the most recent fiscal year, the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate was 0% of the average value of its portfolio.

 

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Principal Investment Strategies

The Underlying Index measures the performance of investment-grade, noncallable U.S. municipal bonds maturing in 2015. As of March 31, 2012, there were 2,399 issues in the Underlying Index.

The Underlying Index includes municipal bonds primarily from issuers that are state or local governments or agencies (including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and U.S. territories such as the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam) such that the interest on the bonds is exempt from U.S. federal income taxes and the federal alternative minimum tax (“AMT”). Each bond must have a rating of at least BBB- by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, Baa3 by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”), or BBB- by Fitch, Inc. and must have a minimum maturity par amount of $2 million to be eligible for inclusion in the Underlying Index. To remain in the Underlying Index, bonds must maintain a minimum par amount greater than or equal to $2 million as of each rebalancing date. All bonds in the Underlying Index will mature between June 1 and August 31 of the year referenced in the name of the Underlying Index. When a bond matures in the Underlying Index, an amount representing its value at maturity will be included in the Underlying Index throughout the remaining life of the Underlying Index, and any such amount will be assumed to earn a rate equal to the performance of the Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC’s, a subsidiary of The McGraw-Hill Companies (“S&P”), Weekly High Grade Index, which consists of Moody’s Investment Grade-1 municipal tax-exempt notes that are not subject to federal AMT. The Underlying Index is a market value weighted index and is rebalanced after the close on the last business day of each month.

BFA uses a “passive” or indexing approach to try to achieve the Fund’s investment objective. Unlike many investment companies, the Fund does not try to “beat” the index it tracks and does not seek temporary defensive positions when markets decline or appear overvalued.

Indexing may eliminate the chance that the Fund will substantially outperform the Underlying Index but also may reduce some of the risks of active management, such as poor security selection. Indexing seeks to achieve lower costs and better after-tax performance by keeping portfolio turnover low in comparison to actively managed investment companies.

BFA uses a representative sampling indexing strategy to manage the Fund. “Representative sampling” is an indexing strategy that involves investing in a representative sample of securities that collectively has an investment profile similar to the Underlying Index.

The securities selected are expected to have, in the aggregate, investment characteristics (based on factors such as market capitalization and industry weightings), fundamental characteristics (such as return variability, duration, maturity or credit ratings and yield) and liquidity measures similar to those of the Underlying Index. The Fund may or may not hold all of the securities in the Underlying Index.

The Fund generally invests at least 80% of its assets in the securities of its Underlying Index, except during the last months of the Fund’s operations, as

 

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described below. The Fund may invest the remainder of its assets in cash and cash equivalents (including money market funds affiliated with BFA), as well as in municipal bonds not included in the Underlying Index, but which BFA believes will help the Fund track its Underlying Index. The Fund will generally hold municipal bond securities issued by state and local municipalities whose interest payments are exempt from U.S. federal income tax, the federal AMT and, effective beginning in 2013, a federal Medicare contribution tax of 3.8% on “net investment income,” including dividends, interest and capital gains. In addition, the Fund may invest any cash assets in one or more affiliated municipal money market funds. In the last months of operation, as the bonds held by the Fund mature, the proceeds will not be reinvested in bonds but instead will be held in cash and cash equivalents, including, without limitation, AMT-free tax-exempt municipal notes, variable rate demand notes and obligations, tender option bonds and municipal commercial paper. These cash equivalents may not be included in the Underlying Index. By August 31, 2015, the Underlying Index is expected to consist entirely of cash earned in this manner. Around the same time, the Fund will wind up and terminate, and its net assets will be distributed to then-current shareholders.

The Fund may lend securities representing up to one-third of the value of the Fund’s total assets (including the value of the collateral received).

The Underlying Index is sponsored by an organization (the “Index Provider”) that is independent of the Fund and BFA. The Index Provider determines the composition and relative weightings of the securities in the Underlying Index and publishes information regarding the market value of the Underlying Index. The Fund’s Index Provider is S&P.

Industry Concentration Policy. The Fund will concentrate its investments (i.e., hold 25% or more of its total assets) in a particular industry or group of industries, to approximately the same extent that the Underlying Index is concentrated. For purposes of this limitation, securities of the U.S. government (including its agencies and instrumentalities), repurchase agreements collateralized by U.S. government securities, and securities of state or municipal governments and their political subdivisions are not considered to be issued by members of any industry.

Summary of Principal Risks

As with any investment, you could lose all or part of your investment in the Fund, and the Fund’s performance could trail that of other investments. The Fund is subject to the principal risks noted below, any of which may adversely affect the Fund’s net asset value per share (“NAV”), trading price, yield, total return and ability to meet its investment objective.

Asset Class Risk. Securities in the Underlying Index or in the Fund’s portfolio may underperform in comparison to the general securities markets or other asset classes.

Concentration Risk. To the extent that the Fund’s investments are concentrated in a particular state, region, municipality, market, project type or asset class, the Fund may be susceptible to loss due to adverse occurrences affecting that state, region,

 

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municipality, market, project type or asset class.

Credit Risk. The Fund is subject to the risk that debt issuers and other counterparties may not honor their obligations or may have their debt downgraded by ratings agencies.

Declining Yield Risk. During the final three months prior to the Fund’s planned termination date, its yield will generally tend to move toward prevailing tax-exempt money market rates, and may be lower than the yields of the bonds previously held by the Fund and lower than prevailing yields for bonds in the market.

Fluctuation of Yield and Liquidation Amount Risk. The Fund, unlike a direct investment in a municipal bond that has a level coupon payment and a fixed payment at maturity, will make distributions of income that vary over time. It is expected that an investment in the Fund, if held through maturity, will produce aggregate returns comparable to a direct investment in municipal bonds of similar credit quality and maturity. Unlike a direct investment in municipal bonds, the breakdown of returns between Fund distributions and liquidation proceeds are not predictable at the time of your investment. For example, at times during the Fund’s existence it may make distributions at a greater (or lesser) rate than the coupon payments received on the Fund’s portfolio, which will result in the Fund returning a lesser (or greater) amount on liquidation than would otherwise be the case. The rate of Fund distribution payments may adversely affect the tax characterization of your returns from an investment in the Fund relative to a

direct investment in municipal bonds. If the amount you receive as liquidation proceeds upon the Fund’s termination is higher or lower than your cost basis, you may experience a gain or loss for tax purposes.

Income Risk. The Fund’s income may decline when interest rates fall. This decline can occur because the Fund must invest in lower-yielding bonds as bonds in its portfolio mature, bonds in the Underlying Index are substituted or the Fund otherwise needs to purchase additional bonds.

Interest Rate Risk. An increase in interest rates may cause the value of fixed-income securities held by the Fund to decline.

Issuer Risk. Fund performance depends on the performance of individual securities to which the Fund has exposure. The Fund invests in municipal bonds of issuers that are primarily state or local governments or agencies. Changes to the financial condition or credit rating of an issuer of those securities may cause the value of the securities to decline.

Liquidity Risk. Liquidity risk exists when particular investments are difficult to purchase or sell. This can reduce the Fund’s returns because the Fund may be unable to transact at advantageous times or prices. The Fund invests a significant portion of its portfolio in municipal securities, which may be less liquid than taxable bonds.

Management Risk. As the Fund may not fully replicate the Underlying Index, it is subject to the risk that BFA’s investment management strategy may not produce the intended results.

Market Risk. The Fund could lose money over short periods due to short-term market movements and over longer periods during market

 

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downturns. The recent financial crisis has caused a decrease in the value and liquidity of many securities, including certain municipal securities, and has adversely affected many issuers of municipal securities and may continue to do so.

Market Trading Risk. The Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including the potential lack of an active market for Fund shares, losses from trading in secondary markets, periods of high volatility and disruption in the creation/redemption process of the Fund. ANY OF THESE FACTORS, AMONG OTHERS, MAY LEAD TO THE FUND’S SHARES TRADING AT A PREMIUM OR DISCOUNT TO NAV.

Municipal Securities Risk. Municipal securities can be significantly affected by political or economic changes as well as uncertainties in the municipal market related to taxation, legislative changes or the rights of municipal security holders. Municipal securities backed by current or anticipated revenues from a specific project or specific assets can be negatively affected by the inability to collect revenues for the project or from the assets.

Non-Diversification Risk. The Fund may invest a large percentage of its assets in securities issued by or representing a small number of issuers. As a result, the Fund’s performance may depend on the performance of a small number of issuers.

Passive Investment Risk. The Fund is not actively managed and BFA does not attempt to take defensive positions under any market conditions, including declining markets.

Securities Lending Risk. The Fund may engage in securities lending. Securities lending involves the risk that the Fund may lose money because the borrower of the Fund’s loaned securities fails to return the securities in a timely manner or at all. The Fund could also lose money in the event of a decline in the value of the collateral provided for loaned securities or a decline in the value of any investments made with cash collateral. These events could also trigger adverse tax consequences for the Fund.

Tax Risk. There is no guarantee that the Fund’s income will be exempt from U.S. federal income taxes, the federal AMT or the federal Medicare contribution tax of 3.8% on “net investment income” (effective beginning in 2013).

Tracking Error Risk. Tracking error is the divergence of the Fund’s performance from that of the Underlying Index. Tracking error may occur because of imperfect correlation between the Fund’s holdings of portfolio securities and those in the Underlying Index, pricing differences, the Fund’s holding of cash, differences on timing of the accrual of dividends, changes to the Underlying Index or the need to meet various regulatory requirements. This risk may be heightened during times of increased market volatility or other unusual market conditions. Tracking error also may result because the Fund incurs fees and expenses, while the Underlying Index does not.

 

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Performance Information

The bar chart and table that follow show how the Fund has performed on a calendar year basis and provide an indication of the risks of investing in the Fund. Both assume that all dividends and distributions have been reinvested in the Fund. Past performance (before and after taxes) does not necessarily indicate how the Fund will perform in the future. Supplemental information about the Fund’s performance is shown under the heading Total Return Information in the Supplemental Information section of the Fund’s prospectus (the “Prospectus”).

Year-by-Year Returns1 (Year Ended December 31)

 

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  1

The Fund’s total return for the six months ended June 30, 2012 was 1.16%.

The best calendar quarter return during the period shown above was 2.42% in the 2nd quarter of 2011; the worst was 0.36% in the 4th quarter of 2011.

Updated performance information is available at www.iShares.com or by calling 1-800-iShares (1-800-474-2737) (toll free).

Average Annual Total Returns

(for the periods ended December 31, 2011)

 

    One Year     Since Fund
Inception
 
(Inception Date: 1/7/2010)    

Return Before Taxes

    4.94%        3.99%   

Return After Taxes on Distributions1

    4.94%        3.99%   

Return After Taxes on Distributions and Sale of Fund Shares1

    3.77%        3.65%   
S&P AMT-Free Municipal Series 2015 IndexTM (Index returns do not reflect deductions for fees, expenses, or taxes)     5.27%        4.59%   

 

 

  1

After-tax returns in the table above are calculated using the historical highest individual U.S. federal marginal income tax rates and do not reflect the impact of state or local taxes. Actual after-tax returns depend on an investor’s tax situation and may differ from those shown, and after-tax returns shown are not relevant to tax-exempt investors or investors who hold shares through tax-deferred arrangements, such as 401(k) plans or individual retirement accounts (“IRAs”). Fund returns after taxes on distributions and sales of Fund shares are calculated assuming that an investor has sufficient capital gains of the same character from other investments to offset any capital losses from the sale of Fund shares. As a result, Fund returns after taxes on distributions and sale of Fund shares may exceed Fund returns before taxes and/or returns after taxes on distributions.

 

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Management

Investment Adviser. BlackRock Fund Advisors.

Portfolio Managers. James Mauro and Scott Radell (the “Portfolio Managers”) are primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund. Each Portfolio Manager supervises a portfolio management team. Mr. Mauro and Mr. Radell have been Portfolio Managers of the Fund since 2011 and 2010, respectively.

Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares

The Fund is an exchange-traded fund (commonly referred to as an “ETF”). Individual Fund shares may only be purchased and sold on a national securities exchange through a broker-dealer. The price of Fund shares is based on market price, and because ETF shares trade at market prices rather than NAV, shares may trade at a price greater than NAV (a premium) or less than NAV (a discount). The Fund will only issue or redeem shares that have been aggregated into blocks of 50,000 shares or multiples thereof (“Creation Units”) to authorized participants who have entered into agreements with the Fund’s distributor. The Fund generally will issue or redeem Creation Units in return for a designated portfolio of securities (and an amount of cash) that the Fund specifies each day.

Tax Information

The Fund intends to make distributions primarily from net tax exempt income, although distributions of taxable capital gains may also occur. The Fund is generally not an appropriate investment for a 401(k) plan or an IRA. Please consult your personal tax adviser.

Payments to Broker-Dealers and other Financial Intermediaries

If you purchase shares of the Fund through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank), BFA or other related companies may pay the intermediary for marketing activities and presentations, educational training programs, conferences, the development of technology platforms and reporting systems or other services related to the sale or promotion of the Fund. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the broker-dealer or other intermediary and your salesperson to recommend the Fund over another investment. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.

 

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More Information About the Fund

This Prospectus contains important information about investing in the Fund. Please read this Prospectus carefully before you make any investment decisions. Additional information regarding the Fund is available at www.iShares.com.

BFA is the investment adviser to the Fund. Shares of the Fund are listed for trading on NYSE Arca, Inc. (“NYSE Arca”). The market price for a share of the Fund may be different from the Fund’s most recent NAV.

ETFs are funds that trade like other publicly traded securities. The Fund is designed to track an index. Similar to shares of an index mutual fund, each share of the Fund represents a partial ownership in an underlying portfolio of securities intended to track a market index. Unlike shares of a mutual fund, which can be bought and redeemed from the issuing fund by all shareholders at a price based on NAV, shares of the Fund may be purchased or redeemed directly from the Fund at NAV solely by authorized participants. Also unlike shares of a mutual fund, shares of the Fund are listed on a national securities exchange and trade in the secondary market at market prices that change throughout the day.

The Fund will wind up and terminate on or about August 31, 2015. Upon its termination, the Fund will distribute substantially all of its net assets, after making appropriate provision for any liabilities of the Fund, to then-current shareholders pursuant to a plan of liquidation. In the final months of the Fund’s operations, as the bonds it holds mature, its portfolio will transition to cash and cash-like instruments, including without limitation AMT-free tax-exempt municipal notes, variable rate demand notes and obligations, tender option bonds and municipal commercial paper. In accordance with the Trust’s Amended and Restated Declaration of Trust dated September 17, 2009, the Fund will terminate on or about the date above as approved by a majority of the Trust’s Board of Trustees (the “Board”) without requiring additional approval by Fund shareholders. The Board may extend the termination date if a majority of the Board determines the extension to be in the best interest of the Fund.

The Fund invests in a particular segment of the securities markets and seeks to track the performance of a securities index that generally is not representative of the market as a whole. The Fund is designed to be used as part of broader asset allocation strategies. Accordingly, an investment in the Fund should not constitute a complete investment program.

An index is a theoretical financial calculation while the Fund is an actual investment portfolio. The performance of the Fund and the Underlying Index may vary due to transaction costs, non-U.S. currency valuations, asset valuations, corporate actions (such as mergers and spin-offs), timing variances and differences between the Fund’s portfolio and the Underlying Index resulting from legal restrictions (such as diversification requirements) that apply to the Fund but not to the Underlying Index or to the use of representative sampling. “Tracking error” is the difference between the performance (return) of the Fund’s portfolio and that of the Underlying Index. BFA expects that, over time, the Fund’s tracking error will not exceed 5%. Because the Fund uses a representative sampling indexing strategy, it can be expected to have a larger tracking error than if it used a replication indexing strategy. “Replication” is an indexing

 

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strategy in which a fund invests in substantially all of the securities in its underlying index in approximately the same proportions as in the underlying index.

An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and it is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency, BFA or any of its affiliates.

The Fund’s investment objective and the Underlying Index may be changed without shareholder approval.

A Further Discussion of Principal Risks

The Fund is subject to various risks, including the principal risks noted below, any of which may adversely affect the Fund’s NAV, trading price, yield, total return and ability to meet its investment objective. You could lose all or part of your investment in the Fund, and the Fund could underperform other investments.

Asset Class Risk. The securities in the Underlying Index or in the Fund’s portfolio may underperform the returns of other securities or indexes that track other industries, groups of industries, markets, asset classes or sectors. Various types of securities or indexes tend to experience cycles of outperformance and underperformance in comparison to the general securities markets.

Concentration Risk. To the extent that the Fund’s portfolio reflects the Underlying Index’s concentration in the securities of issuers in a particular state, region, municipality, market, project type, sector or asset class, the Fund may be adversely affected by the performance of those securities, may be subject to increased price volatility and may be more susceptible to adverse economic, market, political or regulatory occurrences affecting that state, region, municipality, market, project type, sector or asset class.

Credit Risk. Credit risk is the risk that an issuer or guarantor of debt instruments or the counterparty to a derivatives contract, repurchase agreement or loan of portfolio securities will be unable or unwilling to make its timely interest and/or principal payments or to otherwise honor its obligations. Debt instruments are subject to varying degrees of credit risk, which may be reflected in their credit ratings. There is the chance that any of the Fund’s portfolio holdings will have their credit ratings downgraded or will default (i.e., fail to make scheduled interest or principal payments), potentially reducing the Fund’s income level or share price.

Declining Yield Risk. During the final three months prior to the planned termination date of the Fund, the bonds held by the Fund will mature and the Fund’s portfolio will convert to cash or cash equivalents. During these final three months, the Fund’s yield will generally tend to move toward prevailing tax-exempt money market rates, and may be lower than the yields of the bonds previously held by the Fund and lower than prevailing yields for bonds in the market.

Fluctuation of Yield and Liquidation Amount Risk. The Fund, unlike a direct investment in a municipal bond that has a level coupon payment and a fixed payment at maturity, will make distributions of income that vary over time. It is expected that an investment in the Fund, if held through maturity, will produce aggregate returns comparable to a direct investment in municipal bonds of similar credit quality and

 

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maturity, but unlike a direct investment in municipal bonds, the breakdown of returns between Fund distributions and liquidation proceeds will not be predictable at the time of your investment. The Fund may make distributions at a greater (or lesser) rate than the coupon payments received on the Fund’s portfolio, which will result in the Fund returning a lesser (or greater) amount on liquidation than would otherwise be the case. The breakdown between Fund distribution payments and the amount of liquidation proceeds may adversely affect the tax characterization of your returns from an investment in the Fund relative to a direct investment in municipal bonds. If the amount you receive as liquidation proceeds upon the Fund’s termination is higher or lower than your cost basis, you may experience a gain or loss for tax purposes. In addition, the yield on your investment (i.e., your purchase price) may be lower (or higher) than the Fund’s published yields, which are based on the Fund’s NAV.

Income Risk. The Fund’s income may decline when interest rates fall. This decline can occur because the Fund must invest in lower-yielding bonds as bonds in its portfolio mature, bonds in the Underlying Index are substituted or the Fund otherwise needs to purchase additional bonds. The Index Provider’s substitution of bonds in the Underlying Index may occur, for example, when the time to maturity for the bond no longer matches the Underlying Index’s stated maturity guidelines.

Interest Rate Risk. As interest rates rise, the value of a fixed-income security held by the Fund is likely to decrease. Securities with longer durations tend to be more sensitive to interest rate changes, usually making them more volatile than securities with shorter durations. To the extent the Fund invests a substantial portion of its assets in fixed-income securities with longer-term maturities, rising interest rates may cause the value of the Fund’s investments to decline significantly. Because the Fund holds a portfolio of securities set to mature at approximately the same time, the Fund generally will have greater exposure to interest rate risk earlier in its life than closer to its termination date.

Issuer Risk. Changes in the financial condition of an issuer or counterparty, changes in specific economic or political conditions that affect a particular type of security or issuer, and changes in general economic or political conditions can affect a security’s or instrument’s credit quality or value.

Liquidity Risk. Liquidity risk exists when particular investments are difficult to purchase or sell. To the extent the Fund invests in illiquid securities or securities that become illiquid, such investments may have a negative effect on the returns of the Fund because the Fund may be unable to sell the illiquid securities at an advantageous time or price. To the extent that the Fund’s principal investment strategies involve investing in securities with substantial market and/or credit risk, the Fund will tend to have the greatest exposure to liquidity risk. Liquid investments may become illiquid after purchase by the Fund, particularly during periods of market turmoil. Illiquid investments may be harder to value, especially in changing markets, and if the Fund is forced to sell these investments to meet redemption requests or for other cash needs, the Fund may suffer a loss. There can be no assurance that a security that is deemed to be liquid when purchased will continue to be liquid for as long as it is held by the Fund.

The market for municipal bonds may be less liquid than for taxable bonds. There may also be less information available on the financial condition of issuers of municipal

 

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securities than for public corporations. This means that it may be harder to buy and sell municipal securities, especially on short notice, and municipal securities may be more difficult for the Fund to value accurately than securities of public corporations. Since the Fund invests a significant portion of its portfolio in municipal securities, the Fund’s portfolio may have greater exposure to liquidity risk than a fund that invests in non-municipal securities.

Management Risk. The Fund may not fully replicate the Underlying Index and may hold securities not included in the Underlying Index. As a result, the Fund is subject to the risk that BFA’s investment management strategy, the implementation of which is subject to a number of constraints, may not produce the intended results.

Market Risk. The Fund could lose money due to short-term market movements and over longer periods during market downturns. Securities may decline in value due to factors affecting securities markets generally or particular industries represented in the markets. The value of a security may decline due to general market conditions, economic trends or events that are not specifically related to the issuer of the security or to factors that affect a particular project type or group of types. During a general downturn in the securities markets, multiple asset classes may be negatively affected. Fixed-income securities with short-term maturities are generally less sensitive to such changes than fixed-income securities with longer-term maturities.

Recently, the equity and debt capital markets in the United States and internationally have experienced unprecedented volatility. This financial crisis has caused a significant decline in the value and liquidity of many securities, including municipal securities, and has adversely affected many issuers of municipal securities and may continue to do so. Changes in market conditions will not have the same impact on all types of securities. The value of a security may also decrease due to specific conditions that affect a particular sector of the securities market or a particular issuer. In addition, since many municipal securities are issued to finance similar projects, such as those related to education, health care, housing, transportation, utilities, and water and sewer, conditions in these sectors can affect the overall municipal market.

Market Trading Risk

Absence of Active Market. Although shares of the Fund are listed for trading on one or more stock exchanges, there can be no assurance that an active trading market for such shares will develop or be maintained.

Risk of Secondary Listings. The Fund’s shares may be listed or traded on U.S. and non-U.S. stock exchanges other than the U.S. stock exchange where the Fund’s primary listing is maintained. There can be no assurance that the Fund’s shares will continue to trade on any such stock exchange or in any market or that the Fund’s shares will continue to meet the requirements for listing or trading on any exchange or in any market. The Fund’s shares may be less actively traded in certain markets than others, and investors are subject to the execution and settlement risks and market standards of the market where they or their broker direct their trades for execution. Certain information available to investors who trade Fund shares on a U.S. stock exchange during regular U.S. market hours may not be available to investors who trade in other markets, which may result in secondary market prices in such markets being less efficient.

 

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Secondary Market Trading Risk. Shares of the Fund may trade in the secondary market at times when the Fund does not accept orders to purchase or redeem shares. At such times, shares may trade in the secondary market with more significant premiums or discounts than might be experienced at times when the Fund accepts purchase and redemption orders.

Secondary market trading in Fund shares may be halted by a stock exchange because of market conditions or other reasons. In addition, trading in Fund shares on a stock exchange or in any market may be subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to “circuit breaker” rules on the stock exchange or market. There can be no assurance that the requirements necessary to maintain the listing or trading of Fund shares will continue to be met or will remain unchanged.

Shares of the Fund, similar to shares of other issuers listed on a stock exchange, may be sold short and are therefore subject to the risk of increased volatility associated with short selling.

Shares of the Fund May Trade at Prices Other Than NAV. Shares of the Fund trade on stock exchanges at prices at, above or below their most recent NAV. The NAV of the Fund is calculated at the end of each business day and fluctuates with changes in the market value of the Fund’s holdings since the most recent calculation. The trading prices of the Fund’s shares fluctuate continuously throughout trading hours based on market supply and demand rather than NAV. As a result, the trading prices of the Fund’s shares may deviate significantly from NAV during periods of market volatility. ANY OF THESE FACTORS, AMONG OTHERS, MAY LEAD TO THE FUND’S SHARES TRADING AT A PREMIUM OR DISCOUNT TO NAV. However, because shares can be created and redeemed in Creation Units at NAV (unlike shares of many closed-end funds, which frequently trade at appreciable discounts from, and sometimes at premiums to, their NAVs), BFA believes that large discounts or premiums to the NAV of the Fund are not likely to be sustained over the long-term. While the creation/ redemption feature is designed to make it likely that the Fund’s shares normally will trade on stock exchanges at prices close to the Fund’s next calculated NAV, exchange prices are not expected to correlate exactly with the Fund’s NAV due to timing reasons as well as market supply and demand factors. In addition, disruptions to creations and redemptions or extreme market volatility may result in trading prices for shares of the Fund that differ significantly from its NAV.

Costs of Buying or Selling Fund Shares. Buying or selling Fund shares on an exchange involves two types of costs that apply to all securities transactions. When buying or selling shares of the Fund through a broker, you will likely incur a brokerage commission or other charges imposed by brokers as determined by that broker. In addition, you may incur the cost of the “spread” – that is, the difference between what investors are willing to pay for Fund shares (the “bid” price) and the price at which they are willing to sell Fund shares (the “ask” price). Because of the costs inherent in buying or selling Fund shares, frequent trading may detract significantly from investment results and an investment in Fund shares may not be advisable for investors who anticipate regularly making small investments.

Municipal Securities Risk. Municipal securities are subject to the risk that litigation, legislation or other political events, local business or economic conditions, credit rating

 

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downgrades, or the bankruptcy of the issuer could have a significant effect on an issuer’s ability to make payments of principal and/or interest or otherwise affect the value of such securities.

Municipal securities can be significantly affected by political changes as well as uncertainties in the municipal market related to taxation, legislative changes or the rights of municipal security holders. Because many municipal securities are issued to finance similar projects, such as those related to education, health care, housing, transportation, utilities, and water and sewer, conditions in these sectors can affect the overall municipal market. In addition, changes in the financial condition of an individual municipal insurer can affect the overall municipal market.

Municipal securities backed by current or anticipated revenues from a specific project or specific assets can be negatively affected by the discontinuance of the taxation supporting the project or assets or the inability to collect revenues for the project or from the assets.

Non-Diversification Risk. The Fund is classified as “non-diversified.” This means that the Fund may invest a large percentage of its assets in securities issued by or representing a small number of issuers. As a result, the Fund may be more susceptible to the risks associated with these particular issuers, or to a single economic, political or regulatory occurrence affecting these issuers.

Passive Investment Risk. The Fund is not actively managed and may be affected by a general decline in bond market segments related to the Underlying Index. The Fund invests in securities included in, or representative of, the Underlying Index, regardless of their investment merits. BFA generally does not attempt to take defensive positions under any market conditions, including declining markets.

Securities Lending Risk. The Fund may engage in securities lending. Securities lending involves the risk that the Fund may lose money because the borrower of the Fund’s loaned securities fails to return the securities in a timely manner or at all. The Fund could also lose money in the event of a decline in the value of the collateral provided for the loaned securities or a decline in the value of any investments made with cash collateral. These events could also trigger adverse tax consequences for the Fund. Substitute payments received by the Fund with respect to municipal securities lent, if any, will not constitute tax-exempt interest income to the Fund.

Tax Risk. There is no guarantee that the Fund’s income will be exempt from U.S. federal income taxes, the federal AMT or the federal Medicare contribution tax of 3.8% on “net investment income” (effective beginning in 2013). The Index Provider relies on the bond issuer’s prospectus disclosure of the opinion from its counsel as to the tax-exempt status of the investment. Similarly, for municipal bonds not represented in the Underlying Index, BFA relies on prospectus disclosure of the tax opinion from the bond issuer’s counsel. Neither BFA nor the Fund guarantees that these opinions are correct, and there is no assurance that the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) will agree with the bond counsel’s tax opinion. Issuers or other parties generally enter into covenants requiring continuing compliance with U.S. federal tax requirements to preserve the tax-free status of interest payments over the life of the security. If at any time the covenants are not complied with, or if the IRS otherwise determines that the issuer did not comply with relevant tax requirements, interest payments from a security could

 

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become federally taxable, possibly retroactively to the date the security was issued, and the security could decline significantly in value. For municipal bonds not included in the Underlying Index, BFA will generally seek to obtain bonds that pay interest that is exempt from U.S. federal income taxes, the federal AMT and the federal Medicare tax. The interest on any money market instruments held by the Fund may be subject to the federal AMT or the federal Medicare tax.

Events occurring after the date of issuance of a municipal bond or after the Fund’s acquisition of a municipal bond may result in a determination that interest on that bond is includible in gross income for U.S. federal income tax, federal AMT or federal Medicare tax purposes retroactively to its date of issuance. Such a determination may cause a portion of prior distributions by the Fund to its shareholders to be taxable to those shareholders in the year of receipt. U.S. federal or state changes in income, federal AMT or federal Medicare tax rates or in the tax treatment of municipal bonds may make municipal bonds less attractive as investments and cause them to lose value. If the IRS determines an issuer of a municipal security has not complied with applicable tax requirements, interest from the security could become taxable, even retroactively, and the securities could decline significantly in value.

Tracking Error Risk. Tracking error is the divergence of the Fund’s performance from that of the Underlying Index. Tracking error may occur because of imperfect correlation between the Fund’s holdings of portfolio securities and those in the Underlying Index, pricing differences, the Fund’s holding of cash, differences on timing of the accrual of dividends, changes to the Underlying Index or the need to meet various regulatory requirements. This risk may be heightened during times of increased market volatility or other unusual market conditions. Tracking error also may result because the Fund incurs fees and expenses, while the Underlying Index does not.

Portfolio Holdings Information

A description of the Trust’s policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Fund’s portfolio securities is available in the Fund’s Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”). The top holdings of the Fund can be found at www.iShares.com. Fund fact sheets provide information regarding the Fund’s top holdings and may be requested by calling 1-800-iShares (1-800-474-2737).

Management

Investment Adviser. As investment adviser, BFA has overall responsibility for the general management and administration of the Trust. BFA provides an investment program for the Fund and manages the investment of the Fund’s assets. In managing the Fund, BFA may draw upon the research and expertise of its asset management affiliates with respect to certain portfolio securities. In seeking to achieve the Fund’s investment objective, BFA uses teams of portfolio managers, investment strategists and other investment specialists. This team approach brings together many disciplines and leverages BFA’s extensive resources.

Pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreement between BFA and the Trust (entered into on behalf of the Fund), BFA is responsible for substantially all expenses of the Fund, except interest expenses, taxes, brokerage expenses, future distribution fees or expenses and extraordinary expenses.

 

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For its investment advisory services to the Fund, BFA is entitled to receive a management fee from the Fund based on a percentage of the Fund’s average daily net assets, at an annual rate of 0.30%.

BFA is located at 400 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. It is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of BlackRock, Inc. (“BlackRock”). As of June 30, 2012, BFA and its affiliates provided investment advisory services for assets in excess of $3.56 trillion. BFA and its affiliates deal, trade and invest for their own accounts in the types of securities in which the Fund may also invest.

A discussion regarding the basis for the Board’s approval of the Investment Advisory Agreement with BFA is available in the Fund’s semi-annual report for the six-month period ended September 30.

Portfolio Managers. James Mauro and Scott Radell are primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund. Each Portfolio Manager is responsible for various functions related to portfolio management, including, but not limited to, investing cash inflows, coordinating with members of his portfolio management team to focus on certain asset classes, implementing investment strategy, researching and reviewing investment strategy and overseeing members of his portfolio management team that have more limited responsibilities.

James Mauro has been employed by BFA and BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A. (“BTC”) as a portfolio manager since 2011. Prior to that, Mr. Mauro was a Vice President at State Street Global Advisors. Mr. Mauro has been a Portfolio Manager of the Fund since 2011.

Scott Radell has been employed by BFA (formerly, Barclays Global Fund Advisors (“BGFA”)) and BTC (formerly, Barclays Global Investors, N.A. (“BGI”)) as a portfolio manager since 2004. Mr. Radell was a credit strategist from 2003 to 2004 and became a portfolio manager at BGFA and BGI in 2004. Mr. Radell has been a Portfolio Manager of the Fund since 2010.

The Fund’s SAI provides additional information about the Portfolio Managers’ compensation, other accounts managed by the Portfolio Managers and the Portfolio Managers’ ownership (if any) of shares in the Fund.

Administrator, Custodian and Transfer Agent. State Street Bank and Trust Company (“State Street”) is the administrator, custodian and transfer agent for the Fund.

Conflicts of Interest. BFA wants you to know that there are certain entities with which BFA has relationships that may give rise to conflicts of interest, or the appearance of conflicts of interest. These entities are BFA’s affiliates, including BlackRock and the PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., and each of their affiliates, directors, partners, trustees, managing members, officers and employees (collectively, the “Affiliates”).

The activities of BFA and the Affiliates in the management of, or their interest in, their own accounts and other accounts they manage, may present conflicts of interest that could disadvantage the Fund and its shareholders. BFA and its Affiliates provide investment management services to other funds and discretionary managed accounts that may follow an investment program similar to that of the Fund. BFA and its Affiliates

 

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are involved worldwide with a broad spectrum of financial services and asset management activities and may engage in the ordinary course of business in activities in which their interests or the interests of their clients may conflict with those of the Fund. BFA or one or more of the Affiliates acts, or may act, as an investor, investment banker, research provider, investment manager, financier, underwriter, advisor, market maker, trader, prime broker, lender, agent or principal, and have other direct and indirect interests, in securities, currencies and other instruments in which the Fund may directly or indirectly invest. Thus, it is likely that the Fund will have multiple business relationships with and will invest in, engage in transactions with, make voting decisions with respect to, or obtain services from, entities for which BFA or an Affiliate seeks to perform investment banking or other services.

BFA or one or more Affiliates may engage in proprietary trading and advise accounts and funds that have investment objectives similar to those of the Fund and/or that engage in and compete for transactions in the same types of securities, currencies and other instruments as the Fund, including in securities issued by other open-end and closed-end investment management companies, including investment companies that are affiliated with the Fund and BFA, to the extent permitted under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). The trading activities of BFA and these Affiliates are carried out without reference to positions held directly or indirectly by the Fund and may result in BFA or an Affiliate having positions that are adverse to those of the Fund.

No Affiliate is under any obligation to share any investment opportunity, idea or strategy with the Fund. As a result, an Affiliate may compete with the Fund for appropriate investment opportunities. As a result of this and several other factors, the results of the Fund’s investment activities may differ from those of an Affiliate and of other accounts managed by an Affiliate, and it is possible that the Fund could sustain losses during periods in which one or more Affiliates and other accounts achieve profits on their trading for proprietary or other accounts. The opposite result is also possible.

The Fund may, from time to time, enter into transactions in which BFA or an Affiliate’s clients have an interest adverse to the Fund. Furthermore, transactions undertaken by Affiliate-advised clients may adversely impact the Fund. Transactions by one or more Affiliate-advised clients or BFA may have the effect of diluting or otherwise disadvantaging the values, prices or investment strategies of the Fund.

The Fund’s activities may be limited because of regulatory restrictions applicable to one or more Affiliates, and/or their internal policies designed to comply with such restrictions. In addition, the Fund may invest in securities of companies with which an Affiliate has developed or is trying to develop investment banking relationships or in which an Affiliate has significant debt or equity investments. The Fund also may invest in securities of companies for which an Affiliate provides or may someday provide research coverage. An Affiliate may have business relationships with and purchase or distribute or sell services or products from or to distributors, consultants or others who recommend the Fund or who engage in transactions with or for the Fund, and may receive compensation for such services. The Fund may also make brokerage and other payments to Affiliates in connection with the Fund’s portfolio investment transactions.

 

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Pursuant to a securities lending program approved by the Board, the Fund has retained an Affiliate of BFA to serve as the securities lending agent for the Fund to the extent that the Fund participates in the securities lending program. For these services, the lending agent may receive a fee from the Fund, including a fee based on the returns earned on the Fund’s investment of the cash received as collateral for any loaned securities. In addition, one or more Affiliates may be among the entities to which the Fund may lend its portfolio securities under the securities lending program.

The activities of BFA or the Affiliates may give rise to other conflicts of interest that could disadvantage the Fund and its shareholders. BFA has adopted policies and procedures designed to address these potential conflicts of interest. See the Fund’s SAI for further information.

Legal Proceedings. On January 18, 2013, a lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee by Laborers’ Local 265 Pension Fund and Plumbers and Pipefitters Local No. 572 Pension Fund against BFA, BTC, and the current members of the iShares Trust Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors of iShares, Inc. (collectively, “Defendants”) for alleged violations of, among other things, Sections 36(a) and 36(b) of the 1940 Act. The complaint purports to be brought derivatively on behalf of iShares Trust and iShares, Inc., as well as the following eight funds: iShares Russell MidCap Index Fund; iShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund; iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund; iShares Russell 2000 Growth Index Fund; iShares Russell 2000 Value Index Fund; iShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF; iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF; and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index Fund (the “Funds”). The complaint alleges, among other things, that BFA and BTC breached their fiduciary duties under the 1940 Act by charging allegedly excessive fees in connection with the provision of securities lending services to the Funds, that the individual defendants breached their fiduciary duties under the 1940 Act by approving those fee arrangements, and that the securities lending contracts are unenforceable under Section 47(b) of the 1940 Act. Plaintiffs seek injunctive relief, rescission of the securities lending contracts and, monetary damages of an unspecified amount. Defendants believe the claims are without merit and intend to vigorously defend themselves against the allegations in the lawsuit. On March 11, 2013, the Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

Shareholder Information

Additional shareholder information, including how to buy and sell shares of the Fund, is available free of charge by calling toll-free: 1-800-iShares (1-800-474-2737) or visiting our website at www.iShares.com.

Buying and Selling Shares. Shares of the Fund may be acquired or redeemed directly from the Fund only in Creation Units or multiples thereof, as discussed in the Creations and Redemptions section of this Prospectus. Only an Authorized Participant (as defined in the Creations and Redemptions section) may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the Fund. Once created, shares of the Fund generally trade in the secondary market in amounts less than a Creation Unit.

Shares of the Fund are listed on a national securities exchange for trading during the trading day. Shares can be bought and sold throughout the trading day like shares of

 

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other publicly traded companies. The Trust does not impose any minimum investment for shares of the Fund purchased on an exchange. The Fund’s shares trade under the trading symbol “MUAD.”

Buying or selling Fund shares on an exchange involves two types of costs that may apply to all securities transactions. When buying or selling shares of the Fund through a broker, you will likely incur a brokerage commission or other charges determined by your broker. The commission is frequently a fixed amount and may be a significant proportional cost for investors seeking to buy or sell small amounts of shares. In addition, you may incur the cost of the “spread,” that is, any difference between the bid price and the ask price. The spread varies over time for shares of the Fund based on the Fund’s trading volume and market liquidity, and is generally lower if the Fund has a lot of trading volume and market liquidity, and higher if the Fund has little trading volume and market liquidity.

The Board has adopted a policy of not monitoring for frequent purchases and redemptions of Fund shares (“frequent trading”) that appear to attempt to take advantage of a potential arbitrage opportunity presented by a lag between a change in the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities after the close of the primary markets for the Fund’s portfolio securities and the reflection of that change in the Fund’s NAV (“market timing”), because the Fund generally sells and redeems its shares directly through transactions that are in-kind and/or for cash, subject to the conditions described below under Creations and Redemptions. The Board has not adopted a policy of monitoring for other frequent trading activity because shares of the Fund are listed for trading on a national securities exchange.

The national securities exchange on which the Fund’s shares are listed is open for trading Monday through Friday and is closed on weekends and the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The Fund’s primary listing exchange is NYSE Arca.

Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act restricts investments by investment companies in the securities of other investment companies. Registered investment companies are permitted to invest in the Fund beyond the limits set forth in Section 12(d)(1), subject to certain terms and conditions set forth in SEC rules or in an SEC exemptive order issued to the Trust. In order for a registered investment company to invest in shares of the Fund beyond the limitations of Section 12(d)(1) pursuant to the exemptive relief obtained by the Trust, the registered investment company must enter into an agreement with the Trust.

Book Entry. Shares of the Fund are held in book-entry form, which means that no stock certificates are issued. The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) or its nominee is the record owner of all outstanding shares of the Fund and is recognized as the owner of all shares for all purposes.

Investors owning shares of the Fund are beneficial owners as shown on the records of DTC or its participants. DTC serves as the securities depository for shares of the Fund. DTC participants include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and other institutions that directly or indirectly maintain a custodial relationship with DTC. As a beneficial owner of shares, you are not entitled to

 

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receive physical delivery of stock certificates or to have shares registered in your name, and you are not considered a registered owner of shares. Therefore, to exercise any right as an owner of shares, you must rely upon the procedures of DTC and its participants. These procedures are the same as those that apply to any other securities that you hold in book-entry or “street name” form.

Share Prices. The trading prices of the Fund’s shares in the secondary market generally differ from the Fund’s daily NAV and are affected by market forces such as supply and demand, economic conditions and other factors. Information regarding the intraday value of shares of the Fund, also known as the “indicative optimized portfolio value” (“IOPV”), is disseminated every 15 seconds throughout the trading day by the national securities exchange on which the Fund’s shares are listed or by market data vendors or other information providers. The IOPV is based on the current market value of the securities and/or cash required to be deposited in exchange for a Creation Unit. The IOPV does not necessarily reflect the precise composition of the current portfolio of securities held by the Fund at a particular point in time or the best possible valuation of the current portfolio. Therefore, the IOPV should not be viewed as a “real-time” update of the Fund’s NAV, which is computed only once a day. The IOPV is generally determined by using both current market quotations and/or price quotations obtained from broker-dealers that may trade in the portfolio securities held by the Fund. The quotations of certain Fund holdings may not be updated during U.S. trading hours if such holdings do not trade in the United States. The Fund is not involved in, or responsible for, the calculation or dissemination of the IOPV and makes no representation or warranty as to its accuracy.

Determination of Net Asset Value. The NAV of the Fund normally is determined once daily Monday through Friday, generally as of the regularly scheduled close of business of the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) (normally 4:00 p.m., Eastern time) on each day that the NYSE is open for trading, based on prices at the time of closing provided that (a) any Fund assets or liabilities denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar are translated into U.S. dollars at the prevailing market rates on the date of valuation as quoted by one or more data service providers and (b) U.S. fixed-income assets may be valued as of the announced closing time for trading in fixed-income instruments in a particular market or exchange. The NAV of the Fund is calculated by dividing the value of the net assets of the Fund (i.e., the value of its total assets less total liabilities) by the total number of outstanding shares of the Fund, generally rounded to the nearest cent.

The value of the securities and other assets and liabilities held by the Fund are determined pursuant to valuation policies and procedures approved by the Board. The Fund’s assets and liabilities are valued primarily on the basis of market quotations.

The Fund values fixed income portfolio securities using prices provided directly from one or more broker-dealers, market makers, or independent third-party pricing services which may use matrix pricing and valuation models to derive values. Certain short-term debt securities may be valued on the basis of amortized cost.

Generally, trading in non-U.S. securities, U.S. government securities, money market instruments and certain fixed-income securities is substantially completed each day at

 

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various times prior to the close of business on the NYSE. The values of such securities used in computing the NAV of the Fund are determined as of such times.

When market quotations are not readily available or are believed by BFA to be unreliable, the Fund’s investments are valued at fair value. Fair value determinations are made by BFA in accordance with policies and procedures approved by the Fund’s Board. BFA may conclude that a market quotation is not readily available or is unreliable if a security or other asset or liability does not have a price source due to its lack of liquidity, if a market quotation differs significantly from recent price quotations or otherwise no longer appears to reflect fair value, where the security or other asset or liability is thinly traded, or where there is a significant event subsequent to the most recent market quotation. A “significant event” is an event that, in the judgment of BFA, is likely to cause a material change to the closing market price of the asset or liability held by the Fund. Non-U.S. securities whose values are affected by volatility that occurs in U.S. markets on a trading day after the close of non-U.S. securities markets may be fair valued.

Fair value represents a good faith approximation of the value of an asset or liability. The fair value of an asset or liability held by the Fund is the amount the Fund might reasonably expect to receive from the current sale of that asset or the cost to extinguish that liability in an arm’s-length transaction. Valuing the Fund’s investments using fair value pricing will result in prices that may differ from current market valuations and that may not be the prices at which those investments could have been sold during the period in which the particular fair values were used. Use of fair value prices and certain current market valuations could result in a difference between the prices used to calculate the Fund’s NAV and the prices used by the Underlying Index, which, in turn, could result in a difference between the Fund’s performance and the performance of the Underlying Index.

Dividends and Distributions

General Policies. Dividends from net investment income, if any, generally are declared and paid monthly by the Fund. Distributions of net realized securities gains, if any, generally are declared and paid once a year, but the Trust may make distributions on a more frequent basis for the Fund. The Trust reserves the right to declare special distributions if, in its reasonable discretion, such action is necessary or advisable to preserve its status as a regulated investment company or to avoid imposition of income or excise taxes on undistributed income or realized gains.

Dividends and other distributions on shares of the Fund are distributed on a pro rata basis to beneficial owners of such shares. Dividend payments are made through DTC participants and indirect participants to beneficial owners then of record with proceeds received from the Fund.

Dividend Reinvestment Service. No dividend reinvestment service is provided by the Trust. Broker-dealers may make available the DTC book-entry Dividend Reinvestment Service for use by beneficial owners of the Fund for reinvestment of their dividend distributions. Beneficial owners should contact their broker to determine the availability and costs of the service and the details of participation therein. Brokers may require beneficial owners to adhere to specific procedures and timetables. If this service is

 

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available and used, dividend distributions of both income and realized gains will be automatically reinvested in additional whole shares of the Fund purchased in the secondary market.

Taxes. As with any investment, you should consider how your investment in shares of the Fund will be taxed. The tax information in this Prospectus is provided as general information, based on current law. You should consult your own tax professional about the tax consequences of an investment in shares of the Fund.

Unless your investment in Fund shares is made through a tax-exempt entity or tax-deferred retirement account, such as an IRA, you need to be aware of the possible tax consequences when the Fund makes distributions or you sell Fund shares. In general, given its investment strategy, the Fund would not be an appropriate investment for a tax deferred retirement account such as an IRA.

Taxes on Distributions. Dividends paid by the Fund that are properly reported as tax-exempt interest dividends will not be subject to regular U.S. federal income tax. The Fund intends to invest its assets in a manner such that dividend distributions to its shareholders will generally be exempt from U.S. federal income taxation, including the federal AMT. Dividends paid by the Fund will be exempt from U.S. federal income tax (though not necessarily exempt from state and local taxation) to the extent of the Fund’s tax-exempt interest income as long as 50% or more of the value of the Fund’s assets at the end of each quarter is invested in state, municipal and other bonds that are excluded from gross income for U.S. federal income tax purposes and as long as the Fund properly reports such dividends as tax-exempt interest dividends. Exempt interest dividends from interest earned on municipal securities of a state, or its political subdivisions, may be exempt from income tax in that state. However, income from municipal securities of other states generally will not qualify for tax-free treatment.

Distributions from the Fund’s net investment income other than from net tax-exempt income, including distributions of income from securities lending and distributions out of the Fund’s net short-term capital gains, if any, are taxable to you as ordinary income. The Fund’s distributions of net long-term capital gains, if any, in excess of net short-term capital losses (capital gain dividends) are taxable to you as long-term capital gains, regardless of how long you have held the Fund’s shares. Distributions taxable as ordinary income or capital gains will be subject to a 3.8% U.S. federal Medicare contribution tax on “net investment income,” beginning in 2013 for individuals with incomes exceeding $200,000 ($250,000 if married and filing jointly). Distributions from the Fund are not expected to qualify as qualified dividend income. In general, any taxable distributions are subject to U.S. federal income tax for the year when they are paid. Certain distributions paid in January, however, may be treated as paid on December 31 of the prior year.

Any market discount recognized on a bond is taxable as ordinary income. A market discount bond is a bond acquired in the secondary market at a price below redemption value or adjusted issue price if issued with original issue discount. Absent an election by the Fund to include the market discount in income as it accrues, gain on the Fund’s disposition of such an obligation will be treated as ordinary income rather than capital gain to the extent of the accrued market discount.

 

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If you lend your Fund shares pursuant to securities lending arrangements, you may lose the ability to treat Fund dividends (paid while the shares are held by the borrower) as tax-exempt income. Consult your financial intermediary or tax adviser.

A 30% withholding tax will be imposed on dividends paid after December 31, 2013, and redemption proceeds paid after December 31, 2014, to (i) foreign financial institutions including non-U.S. investment funds unless they agree to collect and disclose to the IRS information regarding their direct and indirect U.S. account holders and (ii) certain other foreign entities unless they certify certain information regarding their direct and indirect U.S. owners. To avoid withholding, foreign financial institutions will need to enter into agreements with the IRS which state that they will provide the IRS information including the name, address and taxpayer identification number of direct and indirect U.S. account holders, comply with due diligence procedures with respect to the identification of U.S. accounts, report to the IRS certain information with respect to U.S. accounts maintained, agree to withhold tax on certain payments made to non-compliant foreign financial institutions or to account holders who fail to provide the required information, and determine certain other information as to their account holders. Other foreign entities will need to provide the name, address, and taxpayer identification number of each substantial U.S. owner or certifications of no substantial U.S. ownership unless certain exceptions apply.

If you are a resident or a citizen of the United States, by law, back-up withholding (currently at a rate of 28%) will apply to your distributions and proceeds if you have not provided a taxpayer identification number or social security number and made other required certifications.

Shareholders will receive information after the end of each year setting forth the amount of dividends and long-term capital gains distributed to them by the Fund during the prior year. Likewise, the amount of tax-exempt income that the Fund distributes will be reported and such income must be reported on the shareholder’s U.S. federal income tax return.

Taxes When Shares are Sold. Currently, any capital gain or loss realized upon a sale of Fund shares is generally treated as a long-term gain or loss if the shares have been held for more than one year. Any capital gain or loss realized upon a sale of Fund shares held for one year or less is generally treated as short-term gain or loss, except that any capital loss on the sale of shares held for six months or less is treated as long-term capital loss to the extent that capital gain dividends were paid with respect to such shares. Beginning in 2013, any such capital gains, including from sales of Fund shares or from capital gain dividends, will be included in “net investment income” for purposes of the 3.8% U.S. federal Medicare contribution tax mentioned above.

The foregoing discussion summarizes some of the consequences under current U.S. federal tax law of an investment in the Fund. It is not a substitute for personal tax advice. You may also be subject to state and local taxation on Fund distributions and sales of shares. Consult your personal tax adviser about the potential tax consequences of an investment in shares of the Fund under all applicable tax laws.

Creations and Redemptions. Prior to trading in the secondary market, shares of the Fund are “created” at NAV by market makers, large investors and institutions only in

 

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block-size Creation Units of 50,000 shares or multiples thereof. Each “creator” or “Authorized Participant” enters into an authorized participant agreement with the Fund’s distributor, BlackRock Investments, LLC (the “Distributor”), an affiliate of BFA.

A creation transaction, which is subject to acceptance by the transfer agent, generally takes place when an Authorized Participant deposits into the Fund a designated portfolio of securities (including any portion of such securities for which cash may be substituted) (“Deposit Securities”) and a specified amount of cash approximating the holdings of the Fund in exchange for a specified number of Creation Units. To the extent practicable, the composition of such portfolio generally corresponds pro rata to the holdings of the Fund.

Similarly, shares can be redeemed only in Creation Units, generally for a designated portfolio of securities (including any portion of such securities for which cash may be substituted) held by the Fund (“Fund Securities”) and a specified amount of cash. Except when aggregated in Creation Units, shares are not redeemable by the Fund.

The prices at which creations and redemptions occur are based on the next calculation of NAV after a creation or redemption order is received in an acceptable form under the authorized participant agreement.

The portfolio of securities required for purchase of a Creation Unit may be different than the portfolio of securities the Fund will deliver upon redemption of Fund shares. The Deposit Securities and Fund Securities, as applicable, in connection with a purchase or redemption of a Creation Unit, generally will correspond pro rata, to the extent practicable, to the securities held by the Fund.

Only an Authorized Participant may create or redeem Creation Units directly with the Fund.

As a result of any system failure or other interruption, orders either may not be executed according to the Fund’s instructions or may not be executed at all, or the Fund may not be able to place or change orders.

To the extent the Fund engages in in-kind transactions, the Fund intends to comply with the U.S. federal securities laws in accepting securities for deposit and satisfying redemptions with redemption securities by, among other means, assuring that any securities accepted for deposit and any securities used to satisfy redemption requests will be sold in transactions that would be exempt from registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “1933 Act”). Further, an Authorized Participant that is not a “qualified institutional buyer,” as such term is defined under Rule 144A of the 1933 Act, will not be able to receive securities that are restricted securities eligible for resale under Rule 144A.

Creations and redemptions must be made through a firm that is either a member of the Continuous Net Settlement System of the National Securities Clearing Corporation or a DTC participant and has executed an agreement with the Distributor with respect to creations and redemptions of Creation Unit aggregations. Information about the procedures regarding creation and redemption of Creation Units (including the cut-off times for receipt of creation and redemption orders) is included in the Fund’s SAI.

Because new shares may be created and issued on an ongoing basis, at any point during the life of the Fund a “distribution,” as such term is used in the 1933 Act, may be

 

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occurring. Broker-dealers and other persons are cautioned that some activities on their part may, depending on the circumstances, result in their being deemed participants in a distribution in a manner that could render them statutory underwriters and subject to the prospectus delivery and liability provisions of the 1933 Act. Any determination of whether one is an underwriter must take into account all the relevant facts and circumstances of each particular case.

Broker-dealers should also note that dealers who are not “underwriters” but are participating in a distribution (as contrasted to ordinary secondary transactions), and thus dealing with shares that are part of an “unsold allotment” within the meaning of Section 4(3)(C) of the 1933 Act, would be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(3) of the 1933 Act. For delivery of prospectuses to exchange members, the prospectus delivery mechanism of Rule 153 under the 1933 Act is available only with respect to transactions on a national securities exchange.

Costs Associated with Creations and Redemptions. Authorized Participants are charged standard creation and redemption transaction fees to offset transfer, processing and other transaction costs associated with the issuance and redemption of Creation Units. The standard creation and redemption transaction fees are set forth in the table below. The standard creation transaction fee is charged to the Authorized Participant on the day such Authorized Participant creates a Creation Unit, and is the same regardless of the number of Creation Units purchased by the Authorized Participant on the applicable business day. Similarly, the standard redemption transaction fee is charged to the Authorized Participant on the day such Authorized Participant redeems a Creation Unit, and is the same regardless of the number of Creation Units redeemed by the Authorized Participant on the applicable business day. Creations and redemptions for cash (when cash creations and redemptions (in whole or in part) are available or specified) are also subject to an additional charge (up to the maximum amounts shown in the table below). This charge is intended to compensate for brokerage, tax, foreign exchange, execution, market impact and other costs and expenses related to cash transactions. Investors who use the services of a broker or other financial intermediary to acquire or dispose of Fund shares may pay fees for such services.

The following table shows, as of May 31, 2012, the approximate value of one Creation Unit, standard fees and maximum additional charges for creations and redemptions (as described above):

 

Approximate
Value of a
Creation Unit

 

Creation
Unit Size

 

Standard
Creation/
Redemption
Transaction Fee

 

Maximum Additional
Charge for
Creations*

 

Maximum Additional
Charge for
Redemptions*

$2,660,500   50,000   $100   3.0%   2.0%

 

 

  * As a percentage of the net asset value per Creation Unit, inclusive, in the case of redemptions, of the standard redemption transaction fee.

Householding. Householding is an option available to certain Fund investors. Householding is a method of delivery, based on the preference of the individual investor, in which a single copy of certain shareholder documents can be delivered to

 

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investors who share the same address, even if their accounts are registered under different names. Please contact your broker-dealer if you are interested in enrolling in householding and receiving a single copy of prospectuses and other shareholder documents, or if you are currently enrolled in householding and wish to change your householding status.

Distribution

The Distributor distributes Creation Units for the Fund on an agency basis. The Distributor does not maintain a secondary market in shares of the Fund. The Distributor has no role in determining the policies of the Fund or the securities that are purchased or sold by the Fund. The Distributor’s principal address is 525 Washington Boulevard, Suite 1405, Jersey City, NJ 07310.

In addition, BFA or its Affiliates make payments to broker-dealers, registered investment advisors, banks or other intermediaries (together, “intermediaries”) related to marketing activities and presentations, educational training programs, conferences, the development of technology platforms and reporting systems, or their making shares of the Fund and certain other iShares funds available to their customers generally and in certain investment programs. Such payments, which may be significant to the intermediary, are not made by the Fund. Rather, such payments are made by BFA or its Affiliates from their own resources, which come directly or indirectly in part from fees paid by the iShares funds complex. Payments of this type are sometimes referred to as revenue-sharing payments. A financial intermediary may make decisions about which investment options it recommends or makes available, or the level of services provided, to its customers based on the payments it is eligible to receive. Therefore, such payments to an intermediary create conflicts of interest between the intermediary and its customers and may cause the intermediary to recommend the Fund or other iShares funds over another investment. More information regarding these payments is contained in the Fund’s SAI. Please contact your salesperson or other investment professional for more information regarding any such payments his or her firm may receive from BFA or its Affiliates.

 

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Financial Highlights

The financial highlights table is intended to help investors understand the Fund’s financial performance since inception. Certain information reflects financial results for a single share of the Fund. The total returns in the table represent the rate that an investor would have earned (or lost) on an investment in the Fund, assuming reinvestment of all dividends and distributions. This information has been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, whose report is included, along with the Fund’s financial statements, in the Fund’s Annual Report (available upon request).

Financial Highlights

(For a share outstanding throughout each period)

 

     Year ended
Mar. 31, 2012
    Year ended
Mar. 31, 2011
    Period from
Jan. 7,  2010a
to

Mar. 31, 2010
 

Net asset value, beginning of period

   $ 51.28      $ 50.63      $ 50.49   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Income from investment operations:

      

Net investment incomeb

     0.78        0.89        0.21   

Net realized and unrealized gainc

     1.85        0.63        0.06   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total from investment operations

     2.63        1.52        0.27   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Less distributions from:

      

Net investment income

     (0.79     (0.87     (0.13
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total distributions

     (0.79     (0.87     (0.13
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net asset value, end of period

   $ 53.12      $ 51.28      $ 50.63   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total return

     5.15     3.02     0.54 %d 
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Ratios/Supplemental data:

      

Net assets, end of period (000s)

   $ 37,181      $ 23,075      $ 5,063   

Ratio of expenses to average net assetse

     0.30     0.30     0.30

Ratio of net investment income to average net assetse

     1.48     1.74     1.84

Portfolio turnover ratef

     0 %g      0     2

 

 

  a

Commencement of operations.

  b

Based on average shares outstanding throughout each period.

  c

The amounts reported for a share outstanding may not accord with the change in aggregate gains and losses in securities for the fiscal period due to the timing of capital share transactions in relation to the fluctuating market values of the Fund’s underlying securities.

  d

Not annualized.

  e

Annualized for periods of less than one year.

  f

Portfolio turnover rates exclude portfolio securities received or delivered as a result of processing capital share transactions in Creation Units.

  g

Rounds to less than 1%.

 

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Index Provider

S&P is the Index Provider for the Underlying Index and is not affiliated with the Trust, BFA, State Street, the Distributor or any of their respective affiliates.

S&P provides financial, economic and investment information and analytical services to the financial community. S&P calculates and maintains the S&P Global 1200TM, which includes the S&P 500® for the United States, the S&P Europe 350TM for Continental Europe and the United Kingdom, the S&P/TOPIX 150TM for Japan, the S&P Asia 50TM, the S&P/TSX 60TM for Canada, the S&P/ASX 50TM and the S&P Latin America 40TM. S&P also publishes the S&P MidCap 400®, S&P SmallCap 600®, S&P Composite 1500® and S&P REIT CompositeTM for the United States. S&P calculates and maintains the S&P Global Broad Market Index (BMI) Series, a set of comprehensive rules-based equity benchmarks covering developed and emerging countries around the world. Company additions to and deletions from a S&P equity index do not in any way reflect an opinion on the investment merits of the company.

BFA or its affiliates has entered into a license agreement with the Index Provider to use the Underlying Index. BFA or its affiliates sublicenses rights in the Underlying Index to the Trust at no charge.

Disclaimers

The Fund is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by S&P or its affiliates. S&P and its affiliates make no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of shares of the Fund or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally or in the Fund particularly or the ability of the Underlying Index to track general stock market performance. S&P and its affiliates’ only relationship to the Trust and BFA or its affiliates is the licensing of certain trademarks and trade names of S&P and its affiliates and of the Underlying Index which is determined, composed and calculated by S&P and its affiliates without regard to the Trust, BFA or its affiliates or the Fund. S&P and its affiliates have no obligation to take the needs of BFA or its affiliates or the owners of shares of the Fund into consideration in determining, composing or calculating the Underlying Index. S&P and its affiliates are not responsible for and have not participated in the determination of the prices and amount of shares of the Fund, or the timing of the issuance or sale of such shares or in the determination or calculation of the equation by which shares of the Fund are to be converted into cash. S&P and its affiliates have no obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of shares of the Fund. S&P and its affiliates do not guarantee the accuracy or the completeness of the Underlying Index or any data included therein and S&P and its affiliates shall have no liability for any errors, omissions, or interruptions therein.

S&P AND ITS AFFILIATES MAKE NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED BY BFA OR ITS AFFILIATES, OWNERS OF SHARES OF THE FUND OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY FROM THE USE OF THE UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. S&P AND ITS AFFILIATES MAKE NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES AND EXPRESSLY

 

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DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE WITH RESPECT TO THE UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT SHALL S&P AND ITS AFFILIATES HAVE ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, DIRECT, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING LOST PROFITS) RESULTING FROM THE USE OF THE UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN, EVEN IF NOTIFIED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

Shares of the Fund are not sponsored, endorsed or promoted by NYSE Arca. NYSE Arca makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of the shares of the Fund or any member of the public regarding the ability of the Fund to track the total return performance of the Underlying Index or the ability of the Underlying Index to track stock market performance. NYSE Arca is not responsible for, nor has it participated in, the determination of the compilation or the calculation of the Underlying Index, nor in the determination of the timing of, prices of, or quantities of shares of the Fund to be issued, nor in the determination or calculation of the equation by which the shares are redeemable. NYSE Arca has no obligation or liability to owners of the shares of the Fund in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the shares of the Fund.

NYSE Arca does not guarantee the accuracy and/or the completeness of the Underlying Index or any data included therein. NYSE Arca makes no warranty, express or implied, as to results to be obtained by the Trust on behalf of the Fund as licensee, licensee’s customers and counterparties, owners of the shares of the Fund, or any other person or entity from the use of the subject index or any data included therein in connection with the rights licensed as described herein or for any other use. NYSE Arca makes no express or implied warranties and hereby expressly disclaims all warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose with respect to the Underlying Index or any data included therein. Without limiting any of the foregoing, in no event shall NYSE Arca have any liability for any direct, indirect, special, punitive, consequential or any other damages (including lost profits) even if notified of the possibility of such damages.

BFA does not guarantee the accuracy or the completeness of the Underlying Index or any data included therein and BFA shall have no liability for any errors, omissions or interruptions therein.

BFA makes no warranty, express or implied, to the owners of shares of the Fund or to any other person or entity, as to results to be obtained by the Fund from the use of the Underlying Index or any data included therein. BFA makes no express or implied warranties and expressly disclaims all warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose or use with respect to the Underlying Index or any data included therein. Without limiting any of the foregoing, in no event shall BFA have any liability for any special, punitive, direct, indirect or consequential damages (including lost profits), even if notified of the possibility of such damages.

 

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Supplemental Information

I. Premium/Discount Information

The table that follows presents information about the differences between the daily market price on secondary markets for shares of the Fund and the Fund’s NAV. NAV is the price at which the Fund issues and redeems shares. It is calculated in accordance with the standard formula for valuing mutual fund shares. The price used to calculate market returns (“Market Price”) of the Fund generally is determined using the midpoint between the highest bid and the lowest offer on the primary securities exchange on which shares of the Fund are listed for trading, as of the time that the Fund’s NAV is calculated. The Fund’s Market Price may be at, above or below its NAV. The NAV of the Fund will fluctuate with changes in the value of its portfolio holdings. The Market Price of the Fund will fluctuate in accordance with changes in its NAV, as well as market supply and demand.

Premiums or discounts are the differences (expressed as a percentage) between the NAV and Market Price of the Fund on a given day, generally at the time the NAV is calculated. A premium is the amount that the Fund is trading above the reported NAV, expressed as a percentage of the NAV. A discount is the amount that the Fund is trading below the reported NAV, expressed as a percentage of the NAV.

The following information shows the frequency of distributions of premiums and discounts for the Fund for each full calendar quarter of 2011 through June 30, 2012.

Each line in the table shows the number of trading days in which the Fund traded within the premium/discount range indicated. The number of trading days in each premium/ discount range is also shown as a percentage of the total number of trading days in the period covered by the table. All data presented here represents past performance, which cannot be used to predict future results.

 

Premium/Discount Range

   Number of Days        Percentage of Total Days  
Greater than 1.5% and Less than 2.0%      2           0.53%   
Greater than 1.0% and Less than 1.5%      3           0.80     
Greater than 0.5% and Less than 1.0%      62           16.45     
Between 0.5% and -0.5%      295           78.24     
Less than -0.5% and Greater than -1.0%      13           3.45     
Less than -1.0% and Greater than -1.5%      2           0.53     
  

 

 

      

 

 

 
     377           100.00%   
  

 

 

      

 

 

 

 

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II. Total Return Information

The table that follows presents information about the total returns of the Fund and the Underlying Index as of the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012.

“Average Annual Total Returns” represent the average annual change in value of an investment over the periods indicated. “Cumulative Total Returns” represent the total change in value of an investment over the period indicated.

The Fund’s NAV is the value of one share of the Fund as calculated in accordance with the standard formula for valuing mutual fund shares. The NAV return is based on the NAV of the Fund and the market return is based on the Market Price of the Fund. Market Price is determined by using the midpoint between the highest bid and the lowest offer on the primary stock exchange on which shares of the Fund are listed for trading, as of the time that the Fund’s NAV is calculated. Since shares of the Fund did not trade in the secondary market until after the Fund’s inception, for the period from inception to the first day of secondary market trading in shares of the Fund, the NAV of the Fund is used as a proxy for the Market Price to calculate market returns. Market and NAV returns assume that dividends and capital gain distributions have been reinvested in the Fund at Market Price and NAV, respectively.

An index is a statistical composite that tracks a specified financial market or sector. Unlike the Fund, the Underlying Index does not actually hold a portfolio of securities and therefore does not incur the expenses incurred by the Fund. These expenses negatively impact the performance of the Fund. Also, market returns do not include brokerage commissions that may be payable on secondary market transactions. If brokerage commissions were included, market returns would be lower. The returns shown in the following table do not reflect the deduction of taxes that a shareholder would pay on Fund distributions or the redemption or sale of Fund shares. The investment return and principal value of shares of the Fund will vary with changes in market conditions. Shares of the Fund may be worth more or less than their original cost when they are redeemed or sold in the market. The Fund’s past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Performance as of March 31, 2012

 

Average Annual Total Returns   Cumulative Total Returns
Year Ended 3/31/12   Inception to 3/31/12*   Inception to 3/31/12*
NAV   MARKET   INDEX   NAV   MARKET   INDEX   NAV   MARKET   INDEX
5.15%   5.03%   5.49%   3.89%   4.06%   4.42%   8.90%   9.30%   10.22%

 

 

  * Total returns for the period since inception are calculated from the inception date of the Fund (1/7/10). The first day of secondary market trading in shares of the Fund was 1/8/10.

 

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LOGO

 

 

 

For more information visit www.iShares.com or call 1-800-474-2737

Copies of the Prospectus, SAI and recent shareholder reports can be found on our website at www.iShares.com. For more information about the Fund, you may request a copy of the SAI. The SAI provides detailed information about the Fund and is incorporated by reference into this Prospectus. This means that the SAI, for legal purposes, is a part of this Prospectus.

Additional information about the Fund’s investments is available in the Fund’s Annual and Semi-Annual reports to shareholders. In the Fund’s Annual Report, you will find a discussion of the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected the Fund’s performance during the last fiscal year.

If you have any questions about the Trust or shares of the Fund or you wish to obtain the SAI, Semi-Annual or Annual report free of charge, please:

 

  Call: 1-800-iShares or 1-800-474-2737 (toll free)
       Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (Eastern time)

 

  Email: iSharesETFs@blackrock.com

 

  Write: c/o BlackRock Investments, LLC
       525 Washington Boulevard, Suite 1405, Jersey City, NJ 07310

Information about the Fund (including the SAI) can be reviewed and copied at the SEC’s Public Reference Room in Washington, D.C., and information on the operation of the Public Reference Room may be obtained by calling the SEC at 1-202-551-8090. Reports and other information about the Fund are available on the EDGAR database on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov, and copies of this information may be obtained, after paying a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the following e-mail address: publicinfo@sec.gov, or by writing to the SEC’s Public Reference Section, Washington, D.C. 20549-1520.

No person is authorized to give any information or to make any representations about the Fund and its shares not contained in this Prospectus and you should not rely on any other information. Read and keep the Prospectus for future reference.

Investment Company Act File No.: 811-09729

 

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IS-P-MUAD-0413


Table of Contents
LOGO   

August 1, 2012

(as revised April 15, 2013)

2012 Prospectus

 

iShares 2016 S&P AMT-Free Municipal Series

MUAE • NYSE ARCA

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has not approved or disapproved these securities or passed upon the adequacy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

 

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

 

Fund Overview      S-1   
More Information About the Fund      1   
A Further Discussion of Principal Risks      2   
Portfolio Holdings Information      7   
Management      7   
Shareholder Information      10   
Distribution      18   
Financial Highlights      19   
Index Provider      20   
Disclaimers      20   
Supplemental Information      22   

 

“STANDARD & POOR’S®,” “S&P®,” “S&P INDICES®” and “S&P AMT-Free Municipal Series 2016 IndexTM” are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and have been licensed for use by BlackRock Fund Advisors or its affiliates. iShares® is a registered trademark of BlackRock Fund Advisors or its affiliates.

 

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iSHARES® 2016 S&P AMT-FREE MUNICIPAL SERIES

 

Ticker: MUAE   Stock Exchange: NYSE Arca

Investment Objective

The iShares 2016 S&P AMT-Free Municipal Series (the “Fund”) seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the S&P AMT-Free Municipal Series 2016 IndexTM (the “Underlying Index”). The Fund does not seek to return any predetermined amount at maturity.

Fees and Expenses

The following table describes the fees and expenses that you will incur if you own shares of the Fund. The investment advisory agreement between iShares Trust (the “Trust”) and BlackRock Fund Advisors (“BFA”) (the “Investment Advisory Agreement”) provides that BFA will pay all operating expenses of the Fund, except interest expenses, taxes, brokerage expenses, future distribution fees or expenses, and extraordinary expenses.

You may also incur usual and customary brokerage commissions when buying or selling shares of the Fund, which are not reflected in the example that follows:

 

Annual Fund Operating Expenses

(ongoing expenses that you pay each year as a

percentage of the value of your investments)

Management
Fees

 

Distribution and
Service (12b-1)
Fees

 

Other
Expenses

 

Total Annual
Fund
Operating
Expenses

0.30%   None   None   0.30%

Example. This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of owning shares of the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then sell all of your shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions, your costs would be:

 

1 Year

 

3 Years

 

5 Years

 

10 Years

$31   $97   $169   $381

Portfolio Turnover. The Fund may pay transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Fund shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in Annual Fund Operating Expenses or in the Example, affect the Fund’s performance. During the most recent fiscal year, the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate was 1% of the average value of its portfolio.

 

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Principal Investment Strategies

The Underlying Index measures the performance of investment-grade, noncallable U.S. municipal bonds maturing in 2016. As of March 31, 2012, there were 2,003 issues in the Underlying Index.

The Underlying Index includes municipal bonds primarily from issuers that are state or local governments or agencies (including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and U.S. territories such as the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam) such that the interest on the bonds is exempt from U.S. federal income taxes and the federal alternative minimum tax (“AMT”). Each bond must have a rating of at least BBB- by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, Baa3 by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”), or BBB- by Fitch, Inc. and must have a minimum maturity par amount of $2 million to be eligible for inclusion in the Underlying Index. To remain in the Underlying Index, bonds must maintain a minimum par amount greater than or equal to $2 million as of each rebalancing date. All bonds in the Underlying Index will mature between June 1 and August 31 of the year referenced in the name of the Underlying Index. When a bond matures in the Underlying Index, an amount representing its value at maturity will be included in the Underlying Index throughout the remaining life of the Underlying Index, and any such amount will be assumed to earn a rate equal to the performance of the Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC’s, a subsidiary of The McGraw-Hill Companies (“S&P”), Weekly High Grade Index, which consists of Moody’s Investment Grade-1 municipal tax-

exempt notes that are not subject to federal AMT. The Underlying Index is a market value weighted index and is rebalanced after the close on the last business day of each month.

BFA uses a “passive” or indexing approach to try to achieve the Fund’s investment objective. Unlike many investment companies, the Fund does not try to “beat” the index it tracks and does not seek temporary defensive positions when markets decline or appear overvalued.

Indexing may eliminate the chance that the Fund will substantially outperform the Underlying Index but also may reduce some of the risks of active management, such as poor security selection. Indexing seeks to achieve lower costs and better after-tax performance by keeping portfolio turnover low in comparison to actively managed investment companies.

BFA uses a representative sampling indexing strategy to manage the Fund. “Representative sampling” is an indexing strategy that involves investing in a representative sample of securities that collectively has an investment profile similar to the Underlying Index.

The securities selected are expected to have, in the aggregate, investment characteristics (based on factors such as market capitalization and industry weightings), fundamental characteristics (such as return variability, duration, maturity or credit ratings and yield) and liquidity measures similar to those of the Underlying Index. The Fund may or may not hold all of the securities in the Underlying Index.

The Fund generally invests at least 80% of its assets in the securities of its Underlying Index, except during the last

 

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months of the Fund’s operations, as described below. The Fund may invest the remainder of its assets in cash and cash equivalents (including money market funds affiliated with BFA), as well as in municipal bonds not included in the Underlying Index, but which BFA believes will help the Fund track its Underlying Index. The Fund will generally hold municipal bond securities issued by state and local municipalities whose interest payments are exempt from U.S. federal income tax, the federal AMT and, effective beginning in 2013, a federal Medicare contribution tax of 3.8% on “net investment income,” including dividends, interest and capital gains. In addition, the Fund may invest any cash assets in one or more affiliated municipal money market funds. In the last months of operation, as the bonds held by the Fund mature, the proceeds will not be reinvested in bonds but instead will be held in cash and cash equivalents, including, without limitation, AMT-free tax-exempt municipal notes, variable rate demand notes and obligations, tender option bonds and municipal commercial paper. These cash equivalents may not be included in the Underlying Index. By August 31, 2016, the Underlying Index is expected to consist entirely of cash earned in this manner. Around the same time, the Fund will wind up and terminate, and its net assets will be distributed to then-current shareholders.

The Fund may lend securities representing up to one-third of the value of the Fund’s total assets (including the value of the collateral received).

The Underlying Index is sponsored by an organization (the “Index Provider”) that is independent of the Fund and BFA. The Index Provider determines the composition and relative weightings of the securities in the Underlying Index and publishes information regarding the market value of the Underlying Index. The Fund’s Index Provider is S&P.

Industry Concentration Policy. The Fund will concentrate its investments (i.e., hold 25% or more of its total assets) in a particular industry or group of industries, to approximately the same extent that the Underlying Index is concentrated. For purposes of this limitation, securities of the U.S. government (including its agencies and instrumentalities), repurchase agreements collateralized by U.S. government securities, and securities of state or municipal governments and their political subdivisions are not considered to be issued by members of any industry.

Summary of Principal Risks

As with any investment, you could lose all or part of your investment in the Fund, and the Fund’s performance could trail that of other investments. The Fund is subject to the principal risks noted below, any of which may adversely affect the Fund’s net asset value per share (“NAV”), trading price, yield, total return and ability to meet its investment objective.

Asset Class Risk. Securities in the Underlying Index or in the Fund’s portfolio may underperform in comparison to the general securities markets or other asset classes.

Concentration Risk. To the extent that the Fund’s investments are concentrated in a particular state, region, municipality, market, project type or asset class, the Fund may be susceptible to loss due to adverse

 

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occurrences affecting that state, region, municipality, market, project type or asset class.

Credit Risk. The Fund is subject to the risk that debt issuers and other counterparties may not honor their obligations or may have their debt downgraded by ratings agencies.

Declining Yield Risk. During the final three months prior to the Fund’s planned termination date, its yield will generally tend to move toward prevailing tax-exempt money market rates, and may be lower than the yields of the bonds previously held by the Fund and lower than prevailing yields for bonds in the market.

Fluctuation of Yield and Liquidation Amount Risk. The Fund, unlike a direct investment in a municipal bond that has a level coupon payment and a fixed payment at maturity, will make distributions of income that vary over time. It is expected that an investment in the Fund, if held through maturity, will produce aggregate returns comparable to a direct investment in municipal bonds of similar credit quality and maturity. Unlike a direct investment in municipal bonds, the breakdown of returns between Fund distributions and liquidation proceeds are not predictable at the time of your investment. For example, at times during the Fund’s existence it may make distributions at a greater (or lesser) rate than the coupon payments received on the Fund’s portfolio, which will result in the Fund returning a lesser (or greater) amount on liquidation than would otherwise be the case. The rate of Fund distribution payments may adversely affect the tax characterization of your returns from an investment in the Fund relative to a direct investment in municipal bonds. If the amount you receive as liquidation proceeds upon the Fund’s termination is higher or lower than your cost basis, you may experience a gain or loss for tax purposes.

Income Risk. The Fund’s income may decline when interest rates fall. This decline can occur because the Fund must invest in lower-yielding bonds as bonds in its portfolio mature, bonds in the Underlying Index are substituted or the Fund otherwise needs to purchase additional bonds.

Interest Rate Risk. An increase in interest rates may cause the value of fixed-income securities held by the Fund to decline.

Issuer Risk. Fund performance depends on the performance of individual securities to which the Fund has exposure. The Fund invests in municipal bonds of issuers that are primarily state or local governments or agencies. Changes to the financial condition or credit rating of an issuer of those securities may cause the value of the securities to decline.

Liquidity Risk. Liquidity risk exists when particular investments are difficult to purchase or sell. This can reduce the Fund’s returns because the Fund may be unable to transact at advantageous times or prices. The Fund invests a significant portion of its portfolio in municipal securities, which may be less liquid than taxable bonds.

Management Risk. As the Fund may not fully replicate the Underlying Index, it is subject to the risk that BFA’s investment management strategy may not produce the intended results.

Market Risk. The Fund could lose money over short periods due to short-term market movements and over

 

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longer periods during market downturns. The recent financial crisis has caused a decrease in the value and liquidity of many securities, including certain municipal securities, and has adversely affected many issuers of municipal securities and may continue to do so.

Market Trading Risk. The Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including the potential lack of an active market for Fund shares, losses from trading in secondary markets, periods of high volatility and disruption in the creation/redemption process of the Fund. ANY OF THESE FACTORS, AMONG OTHERS, MAY LEAD TO THE FUND’S SHARES TRADING AT A PREMIUM OR DISCOUNT TO NAV.

Municipal Securities Risk. Municipal securities can be significantly affected by political or economic changes as well as uncertainties in the municipal market related to taxation, legislative changes or the rights of municipal security holders. Municipal securities backed by current or anticipated revenues from a specific project or specific assets can be negatively affected by the inability to collect revenues for the project or from the assets.

Non-Diversification Risk. The Fund may invest a large percentage of its assets in securities issued by or representing a small number of issuers. As a result, the Fund’s performance may depend on the performance of a small number of issuers.

Passive Investment Risk. The Fund is not actively managed and BFA does not attempt to take defensive positions under any market conditions, including declining markets.

Securities Lending Risk. The Fund may engage in securities lending. Securities lending involves the risk that the Fund may lose money because the borrower of the Fund’s loaned securities fails to return the securities in a timely manner or at all. The Fund could also lose money in the event of a decline in the value of the collateral provided for loaned securities or a decline in the value of any investments made with cash collateral. These events could also trigger adverse tax consequences for the Fund.

Tax Risk. There is no guarantee that the Fund’s income will be exempt from U.S. federal income taxes, the federal AMT or the federal Medicare contribution tax of 3.8% on “net investment income” (effective beginning in 2013).

Tracking Error Risk. Tracking error is the divergence of the Fund’s performance from that of the Underlying Index. Tracking error may occur because of imperfect correlation between the Fund’s holdings of portfolio securities and those in the Underlying Index, pricing differences, the Fund’s holding of cash, differences on timing of the accrual of dividends, changes to the Underlying Index or the need to meet various regulatory requirements. This risk may be heightened during times of increased market volatility or other unusual market conditions. Tracking error also may result because the Fund incurs fees and expenses, while the Underlying Index does not.

 

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Performance Information

The bar chart and table that follow show how the Fund has performed on a calendar year basis and provide an indication of the risks of investing in the Fund. Both assume that all dividends and distributions have been reinvested in the Fund. Past performance (before and after taxes) does not necessarily indicate how the Fund will perform in the future. Supplemental information about the Fund’s performance is shown under the heading Total Return Information in the Supplemental Information section of the Fund’s prospectus (the “Prospectus”).

Year-by-Year Returns1 (Year Ended December 31)

 

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The Fund’s total return for the six months ended June 30, 2012 was 1.71%.

The best calendar quarter return during the period shown above was 3.43% in the 2nd quarter of 2011; the worst was 0.21% in the 1st quarter of 2011.

Updated performance information is available at www.iShares.com or by calling 1-800-iShares (1-800-474-2737) (toll free).

Average Annual Total Returns

(for the periods ended December 31, 2011)

 

    One Year     Since Fund
Inception
 
(Inception Date: 1/7/2010)    

Return Before Taxes

    6.66%        5.44%   

Return After Taxes on Distributions1

    6.60%        5.41%   

Return After Taxes on Distributions and Sale of Fund Shares1

    4.98%        4.91%   
S&P AMT-Free Municipal Series 2016 IndexTM (Index returns do not reflect deductions for fees, expenses, or taxes)     7.05%        6.23%   

 

 

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After-tax returns in the table above are calculated using the historical highest individual U.S. federal marginal income tax rates and do not reflect the impact of state or local taxes. Actual after-tax returns depend on an investor’s tax situation and may differ from those shown, and after-tax returns shown are not relevant to tax-exempt investors or investors who hold shares through tax-deferred arrangements, such as 401(k) plans or individual retirement accounts (“IRAs”). Fund returns after taxes on distributions and sales of Fund shares are calculated assuming that an investor has sufficient capital gains of the same character from other investments to offset any capital losses from the sale of Fund shares. As a result, Fund returns after taxes on distributions and sale of Fund shares may exceed Fund returns before taxes and/or returns after taxes on distributions.

 

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Management

Investment Adviser. BlackRock Fund Advisors.

Portfolio Managers. James Mauro and Scott Radell (the “Portfolio Managers”) are primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund. Each Portfolio Manager supervises a portfolio management team. Mr. Mauro and Mr. Radell have been Portfolio Managers of the Fund since 2011 and 2010, respectively.

Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares

The Fund is an exchange-traded fund (commonly referred to as an “ETF”). Individual Fund shares may only be purchased and sold on a national securities exchange through a broker-dealer. The price of Fund shares is based on market price, and because ETF shares trade at market prices rather than NAV, shares may trade at a price greater than NAV (a premium) or less than NAV (a discount). The Fund will only issue or redeem shares that have been aggregated into blocks of 50,000 shares or multiples thereof (“Creation Units”) to authorized participants who have entered into agreements with the Fund’s distributor. The Fund generally will issue or redeem Creation Units in return for a designated portfolio of securities (and an amount of cash) that the Fund specifies each day.

Tax Information

The Fund intends to make distributions primarily from net tax exempt income, although distributions of taxable capital gains may also occur. The Fund is generally not an appropriate investment for a 401(k) plan or an IRA. Please consult your personal tax adviser.

Payments to Broker-Dealers and other Financial Intermediaries

If you purchase shares of the Fund through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank), BFA or other related companies may pay the intermediary for marketing activities and presentations, educational training programs, conferences, the development of technology platforms and reporting systems or other services related to the sale or promotion of the Fund. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the broker-dealer or other intermediary and your salesperson to recommend the Fund over another investment. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.

 

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More Information About the Fund

This Prospectus contains important information about investing in the Fund. Please read this Prospectus carefully before you make any investment decisions. Additional information regarding the Fund is available at www.iShares.com.

BFA is the investment adviser to the Fund. Shares of the Fund are listed for trading on NYSE Arca, Inc. (“NYSE Arca”). The market price for a share of the Fund may be different from the Fund’s most recent NAV.

ETFs are funds that trade like other publicly traded securities. The Fund is designed to track an index. Similar to shares of an index mutual fund, each share of the Fund represents a partial ownership in an underlying portfolio of securities intended to track a market index. Unlike shares of a mutual fund, which can be bought and redeemed from the issuing fund by all shareholders at a price based on NAV, shares of the Fund may be purchased or redeemed directly from the Fund at NAV solely by authorized participants. Also unlike shares of a mutual fund, shares of the Fund are listed on a national securities exchange and trade in the secondary market at market prices that change throughout the day.

The Fund will wind up and terminate on or about August 31, 2016. Upon its termination, the Fund will distribute substantially all of its net assets, after making appropriate provision for any liabilities of the Fund, to then-current shareholders pursuant to a plan of liquidation. In the final months of the Fund’s operations, as the bonds it holds mature, its portfolio will transition to cash and cash-like instruments, including without limitation AMT-free tax-exempt municipal notes, variable rate demand notes and obligations, tender option bonds and municipal commercial paper. In accordance with the Trust’s Amended and Restated Declaration of Trust dated September 17, 2009, the Fund will terminate on or about the date above as approved by a majority of the Trust’s Board of Trustees (the “Board”) without requiring additional approval by Fund shareholders. The Board may extend the termination date if a majority of the Board determines the extension to be in the best interest of the Fund.

The Fund invests in a particular segment of the securities markets and seeks to track the performance of a securities index that generally is not representative of the market as a whole. The Fund is designed to be used as part of broader asset allocation strategies. Accordingly, an investment in the Fund should not constitute a complete investment program.

An index is a theoretical financial calculation while the Fund is an actual investment portfolio. The performance of the Fund and the Underlying Index may vary due to transaction costs, non-U.S. currency valuations, asset valuations, corporate actions (such as mergers and spin-offs), timing variances and differences between the Fund’s portfolio and the Underlying Index resulting from legal restrictions (such as diversification requirements) that apply to the Fund but not to the Underlying Index or to the use of representative sampling. “Tracking error” is the difference between the performance (return) of the Fund’s portfolio and that of the Underlying Index. BFA expects that, over time, the Fund’s tracking error will not exceed 5%. Because the Fund uses a representative sampling indexing strategy, it can be expected to have a larger tracking error than if it used a replication indexing strategy. “Replication” is an indexing

 

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strategy in which a fund invests in substantially all of the securities in its underlying index in approximately the same proportions as in the underlying index.

An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and it is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency, BFA or any of its affiliates.

The Fund’s investment objective and the Underlying Index may be changed without shareholder approval.

A Further Discussion of Principal Risks

The Fund is subject to various risks, including the principal risks noted below, any of which may adversely affect the Fund’s NAV, trading price, yield, total return and ability to meet its investment objective. You could lose all or part of your investment in the Fund, and the Fund could underperform other investments.

Asset Class Risk. The securities in the Underlying Index or in the Fund’s portfolio may underperform the returns of other securities or indexes that track other industries, groups of industries, markets, asset classes or sectors. Various types of securities or indexes tend to experience cycles of outperformance and underperformance in comparison to the general securities markets.

Concentration Risk. To the extent that the Fund’s portfolio reflects the Underlying Index’s concentration in the securities of issuers in a particular state, region, municipality, market, project type, sector or asset class, the Fund may be adversely affected by the performance of those securities, may be subject to increased price volatility and may be more susceptible to adverse economic, market, political or regulatory occurrences affecting that state, region, municipality, market, project type, sector or asset class.

Credit Risk. Credit risk is the risk that an issuer or guarantor of debt instruments or the counterparty to a derivatives contract, repurchase agreement or loan of portfolio securities will be unable or unwilling to make its timely interest and/or principal payments or to otherwise honor its obligations. Debt instruments are subject to varying degrees of credit risk, which may be reflected in their credit ratings. There is the chance that any of the Fund’s portfolio holdings will have their credit ratings downgraded or will default (i.e., fail to make scheduled interest or principal payments), potentially reducing the Fund’s income level or share price.

Declining Yield Risk. During the final three months prior to the planned termination date of the Fund, the bonds held by the Fund will mature and the Fund’s portfolio will convert to cash or cash equivalents. During these final three months, the Fund’s yield will generally tend to move toward prevailing tax-exempt money market rates, and may be lower than the yields of the bonds previously held by the Fund and lower than prevailing yields for bonds in the market.

Fluctuation of Yield and Liquidation Amount Risk. The Fund, unlike a direct investment in a municipal bond that has a level coupon payment and a fixed payment at maturity, will make distributions of income that vary over time. It is expected that an

investment in the Fund, if held through maturity, will produce aggregate returns comparable to a direct investment in municipal bonds of similar credit quality and

 

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maturity, but unlike a direct investment in municipal bonds, the breakdown of returns between Fund distributions and liquidation proceeds will not be predictable at the time of your investment. The Fund may make distributions at a greater (or lesser) rate than the coupon payments received on the Fund’s portfolio, which will result in the Fund returning a lesser (or greater) amount on liquidation than would otherwise be the case. The breakdown between Fund distribution payments and the amount of liquidation proceeds may adversely affect the tax characterization of your returns from an investment in the Fund relative to a direct investment in municipal bonds. If the amount you receive as liquidation proceeds upon the Fund’s termination is higher or lower than your cost basis, you may experience a gain or loss for tax purposes. In addition, the yield on your investment (i.e., your purchase price) may be lower (or higher) than the Fund’s published yields, which are based on the Fund’s NAV.

Income Risk. The Fund’s income may decline when interest rates fall. This decline can occur because the Fund must invest in lower-yielding bonds as bonds in its portfolio mature, bonds in the Underlying Index are substituted or the Fund otherwise needs to purchase additional bonds. The Index Provider’s substitution of bonds in the Underlying Index may occur, for example, when the time to maturity for the bond no longer matches the Underlying Index’s stated maturity guidelines.

Interest Rate Risk. As interest rates rise, the value of a fixed-income security held by the Fund is likely to decrease. Securities with longer durations tend to be more sensitive to interest rate changes, usually making them more volatile than securities with shorter durations. To the extent the Fund invests a substantial portion of its assets in fixed-income securities with longer-term maturities, rising interest rates may cause the value of the Fund’s investments to decline significantly. Because the Fund holds a portfolio of securities set to mature at approximately the same time, the Fund generally will have greater exposure to interest rate risk earlier in its life than closer to its termination date.

Issuer Risk. Changes in the financial condition of an issuer or counterparty, changes in specific economic or political conditions that affect a particular type of security or issuer, and changes in general economic or political conditions can affect a security’s or instrument’s credit quality or value.

Liquidity Risk. Liquidity risk exists when particular investments are difficult to purchase or sell. To the extent the Fund invests in illiquid securities or securities that become illiquid, such investments may have a negative effect on the returns of the Fund because the Fund may be unable to sell the illiquid securities at an advantageous time or price. To the extent that the Fund’s principal investment strategies involve investing in securities with substantial market and/or credit risk, the Fund will tend to have the greatest exposure to liquidity risk. Liquid investments may become illiquid after purchase by the Fund, particularly during periods of market turmoil. Illiquid investments may be harder to value, especially in changing markets, and if the Fund is forced to sell these investments to meet redemption requests or for other cash needs, the Fund may suffer a loss. There can be no assurance that a security that is deemed to be liquid when purchased will continue to be liquid for as long as it is held by the Fund.

The market for municipal bonds may be less liquid than for taxable bonds. There may also be less information available on the financial condition of issuers of municipal

 

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securities than for public corporations. This means that it may be harder to buy and sell municipal securities, especially on short notice, and municipal securities may be more difficult for the Fund to value accurately than securities of public corporations. Since the Fund invests a significant portion of its portfolio in municipal securities, the Fund’s portfolio may have greater exposure to liquidity risk than a fund that invests in non-municipal securities.

Management Risk. The Fund may not fully replicate the Underlying Index and may hold securities not included in the Underlying Index. As a result, the Fund is subject to the risk that BFA’s investment management strategy, the implementation of which is subject to a number of constraints, may not produce the intended results.

Market Risk. The Fund could lose money due to short-term market movements and over longer periods during market downturns. Securities may decline in value due to factors affecting securities markets generally or particular industries represented in the markets. The value of a security may decline due to general market conditions, economic trends or events that are not specifically related to the issuer of the security or to factors that affect a particular project type or group of types. During a general downturn in the securities markets, multiple asset classes may be negatively affected. Fixed-income securities with short-term maturities are generally less sensitive to such changes than fixed-income securities with longer-term maturities.

Recently, the equity and debt capital markets in the United States and internationally have experienced unprecedented volatility. This financial crisis has caused a significant decline in the value and liquidity of many securities, including municipal securities, and has adversely affected many issuers of municipal securities and may continue to do so. Changes in market conditions will not have the same impact on all types of securities. The value of a security may also decrease due to specific conditions that affect a particular sector of the securities market or a particular issuer. In addition, since many municipal securities are issued to finance similar projects, such as those related to education, health care, housing, transportation, utilities, and water and sewer, conditions in these sectors can affect the overall municipal market.

Market Trading Risk

Absence of Active Market. Although shares of the Fund are listed for trading on one or more stock exchanges, there can be no assurance that an active trading market for such shares will develop or be maintained.

Risk of Secondary Listings. The Fund’s shares may be listed or traded on U.S. and non-U.S. stock exchanges other than the U.S. stock exchange where the Fund’s primary listing is maintained. There can be no assurance that the Fund’s shares will continue to trade on any such stock exchange or in any market or that the Fund’s shares will continue to meet the requirements for listing or trading on any exchange or in any market. The Fund’s shares may be less actively traded in certain markets than others,

and investors are subject to the execution and settlement risks and market standards of the market where they or their broker direct their trades for execution. Certain information available to investors who trade Fund shares on a U.S. stock exchange during regular U.S. market hours may not be available to investors who trade in other markets, which may result in secondary market prices in such markets being less efficient.

 

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Secondary Market Trading Risk. Shares of the Fund may trade in the secondary market at times when the Fund does not accept orders to purchase or redeem shares. At such times, shares may trade in the secondary market with more significant premiums or discounts than might be experienced at times when the Fund accepts purchase and redemption orders.

Secondary market trading in Fund shares may be halted by a stock exchange because of market conditions or other reasons. In addition, trading in Fund shares on a stock exchange or in any market may be subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to “circuit breaker” rules on the stock exchange or market. There can be no assurance that the requirements necessary to maintain the listing or trading of Fund shares will continue to be met or will remain unchanged.

Shares of the Fund, similar to shares of other issuers listed on a stock exchange, may be sold short and are therefore subject to the risk of increased volatility associated with short selling.

Shares of the Fund May Trade at Prices Other Than NAV. Shares of the Fund trade on stock exchanges at prices at, above or below their most recent NAV. The NAV of the Fund is calculated at the end of each business day and fluctuates with changes in the market value of the Fund’s holdings since the most recent calculation. The trading prices of the Fund’s shares fluctuate continuously throughout trading hours based on market supply and demand rather than NAV. As a result, the trading prices of the Fund’s shares may deviate significantly from NAV during periods of market volatility. ANY OF THESE FACTORS, AMONG OTHERS, MAY LEAD TO THE FUND’S SHARES TRADING AT A PREMIUM OR DISCOUNT TO NAV. However, because shares can be created and redeemed in Creation Units at NAV (unlike shares of many closed-end funds, which frequently trade at appreciable discounts from, and sometimes at premiums to, their NAVs), BFA believes that large discounts or premiums to the NAV of the Fund are not likely to be sustained over the long-term. While the creation/ redemption feature is designed to make it likely that the Fund’s shares normally will trade on stock exchanges at prices close to the Fund’s next calculated NAV, exchange prices are not expected to correlate exactly with the Fund’s NAV due to timing reasons as well as market supply and demand factors. In addition, disruptions to creations and redemptions or extreme market volatility may result in trading prices for shares of the Fund that differ significantly from its NAV.

Costs of Buying or Selling Fund Shares. Buying or selling Fund shares on an exchange involves two types of costs that apply to all securities transactions. When buying or selling shares of the Fund through a broker, you will likely incur a brokerage commission or other charges imposed by brokers as determined by that broker. In addition, you may incur the cost of the “spread” – that is, the difference between what investors are willing to pay for Fund shares (the “bid” price) and the price at which they are willing to sell Fund shares (the “ask” price). Because of the costs inherent in buying or selling Fund shares, frequent trading may detract significantly from investment results and an investment in Fund shares may not be advisable for investors who anticipate regularly making small investments.

Municipal Securities Risk. Municipal securities are subject to the risk that litigation, legislation or other political events, local business or economic conditions, credit rating

 

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downgrades, or the bankruptcy of the issuer could have a significant effect on an issuer’s ability to make payments of principal and/or interest or otherwise affect the value of such securities.

Municipal securities can be significantly affected by political changes as well as uncertainties in the municipal market related to taxation, legislative changes or the rights of municipal security holders. Because many municipal securities are issued to finance similar projects, such as those related to education, health care, housing, transportation, utilities, and water and sewer, conditions in these sectors can affect the overall municipal market. In addition, changes in the financial condition of an individual municipal insurer can affect the overall municipal market.

Municipal securities backed by current or anticipated revenues from a specific project or specific assets can be negatively affected by the discontinuance of the taxation supporting the project or assets or the inability to collect revenues for the project or from the assets.

Non-Diversification Risk. The Fund is classified as “non-diversified.” This means that the Fund may invest a large percentage of its assets in securities issued by or representing a small number of issuers. As a result, the Fund may be more susceptible to the risks associated with these particular issuers, or to a single economic, political or regulatory occurrence affecting these issuers.

Passive Investment Risk. The Fund is not actively managed and may be affected by a general decline in bond market segments related to the Underlying Index. The Fund invests in securities included in, or representative of, the Underlying Index, regardless of their investment merits. BFA generally does not attempt to take defensive positions under any market conditions, including declining markets.

Securities Lending Risk. The Fund may engage in securities lending. Securities lending involves the risk that the Fund may lose money because the borrower of the Fund’s loaned securities fails to return the securities in a timely manner or at all. The Fund could also lose money in the event of a decline in the value of the collateral provided for the loaned securities or a decline in the value of any investments made with cash collateral. These events could also trigger adverse tax consequences for the Fund. Substitute payments received by the Fund with respect to municipal securities lent, if any, will not constitute tax-exempt interest income to the Fund.

Tax Risk. There is no guarantee that the Fund’s income will be exempt from U.S. federal income taxes, the federal AMT or the federal Medicare contribution tax of 3.8% on “net investment income” (effective beginning in 2013). The Index Provider relies on the bond issuer’s prospectus disclosure of the opinion from its counsel as to the tax-exempt status of the investment. Similarly, for municipal bonds not represented in the Underlying Index, BFA relies on prospectus disclosure of the tax opinion from the bond

issuer’s counsel. Neither BFA nor the Fund guarantees that these opinions are correct, and there is no assurance that the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) will agree with the bond counsel’s tax opinion. Issuers or other parties generally enter into covenants requiring continuing compliance with U.S. federal tax requirements to preserve the tax-free status of interest payments over the life of the security. If at any time the covenants are not complied with, or if the IRS otherwise determines that the issuer did

 

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not comply with relevant tax requirements, interest payments from a security could become federally taxable, possibly retroactively to the date the security was issued, and the security could decline significantly in value. For municipal bonds not included in the Underlying Index, BFA will generally seek to obtain bonds that pay interest that is exempt from U.S. federal income taxes, the federal AMT and the federal Medicare tax. The interest on any money market instruments held by the Fund may be subject to the federal AMT or the federal Medicare tax.

Events occurring after the date of issuance of a municipal bond or after the Fund’s acquisition of a municipal bond may result in a determination that interest on that bond is includible in gross income for U.S. federal income tax, federal AMT or federal Medicare tax purposes retroactively to its date of issuance. Such a determination may cause a portion of prior distributions by the Fund to its shareholders to be taxable to those shareholders in the year of receipt. U.S. federal or state changes in income, federal AMT or federal Medicare tax rates or in the tax treatment of municipal bonds may make municipal bonds less attractive as investments and cause them to lose value. If the IRS determines an issuer of a municipal security has not complied with applicable tax requirements, interest from the security could become taxable, even retroactively, and the securities could decline significantly in value.

Tracking Error Risk. Tracking error is the divergence of the Fund’s performance from that of the Underlying Index. Tracking error may occur because of imperfect correlation between the Fund’s holdings of portfolio securities and those in the Underlying Index, pricing differences, the Fund’s holding of cash, differences on timing of the accrual of dividends, changes to the Underlying Index or the need to meet various regulatory requirements. This risk may be heightened during times of increased market volatility or other unusual market conditions. Tracking error also may result because the Fund incurs fees and expenses, while the Underlying Index does not.

Portfolio Holdings Information

A description of the Trust’s policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Fund’s portfolio securities is available in the Fund’s Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”). The top holdings of the Fund can be found at www.iShares.com. Fund fact sheets provide information regarding the Fund’s top holdings and may be requested by calling 1-800-iShares (1-800-474-2737).

Management

Investment Adviser. As investment adviser, BFA has overall responsibility for the general management and administration of the Trust. BFA provides an investment program for the Fund and manages the investment of the Fund’s assets. In managing the Fund, BFA may draw upon the research and expertise of its asset management

affiliates with respect to certain portfolio securities. In seeking to achieve the Fund’s investment objective, BFA uses teams of portfolio managers, investment strategists and other investment specialists. This team approach brings together many disciplines and leverages BFA’s extensive resources.

Pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreement between BFA and the Trust (entered into on behalf of the Fund), BFA is responsible for substantially all expenses of the

 

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Fund, except interest expenses, taxes, brokerage expenses, future distribution fees or expenses and extraordinary expenses.

For its investment advisory services to the Fund, BFA is entitled to receive a management fee from the Fund based on a percentage of the Fund’s average daily net assets, at an annual rate of 0.30%.

BFA is located at 400 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. It is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of BlackRock, Inc. (“BlackRock”). As of June 30, 2012, BFA and its affiliates provided investment advisory services for assets in excess of $3.56 trillion. BFA and its affiliates deal, trade and invest for their own accounts in the types of securities in which the Fund may also invest.

A discussion regarding the basis for the Board’s approval of the Investment Advisory Agreement with BFA is available in the Fund’s semi-annual report for the six-month period ended September 30.

Portfolio Managers. James Mauro and Scott Radell are primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund. Each Portfolio Manager is responsible for various functions related to portfolio management, including, but not limited to, investing cash inflows, coordinating with members of his portfolio management team to focus on certain asset classes, implementing investment strategy, researching and reviewing investment strategy and overseeing members of his portfolio management team that have more limited responsibilities.

James Mauro has been employed by BFA and BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A. (“BTC”) as a portfolio manager since 2011. Prior to that, Mr. Mauro was a Vice President at State Street Global Advisors. Mr. Mauro has been a Portfolio Manager of the Fund since 2011.

Scott Radell has been employed by BFA (formerly, Barclays Global Fund Advisors (“BGFA”)) and BTC (formerly, Barclays Global Investors, N.A. (“BGI”)) as a portfolio manager since 2004. Mr. Radell was a credit strategist from 2003 to 2004 and became a portfolio manager at BGFA and BGI in 2004. Mr. Radell has been a Portfolio Manager of the Fund since 2010.

The Fund’s SAI provides additional information about the Portfolio Managers’ compensation, other accounts managed by the Portfolio Managers and the Portfolio Managers’ ownership (if any) of shares in the Fund.

Administrator, Custodian and Transfer Agent. State Street Bank and Trust Company (“State Street”) is the administrator, custodian and transfer agent for the Fund.

Conflicts of Interest. BFA wants you to know that there are certain entities with which BFA has relationships that may give rise to conflicts of interest, or the appearance of conflicts of interest. These entities are BFA’s affiliates, including BlackRock and the PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., and each of their affiliates, directors, partners, trustees, managing members, officers and employees (collectively, the “Affiliates”).

The activities of BFA and the Affiliates in the management of, or their interest in, their own accounts and other accounts they manage, may present conflicts of interest that could disadvantage the Fund and its shareholders. BFA and its Affiliates provide

 

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investment management services to other funds and discretionary managed accounts that may follow an investment program similar to that of the Fund. BFA and its Affiliates are involved worldwide with a broad spectrum of financial services and asset management activities and may engage in the ordinary course of business in activities in which their interests or the interests of their clients may conflict with those of the Fund. BFA or one or more of the Affiliates acts, or may act, as an investor, investment banker, research provider, investment manager, financier, underwriter, advisor, market maker, trader, prime broker, lender, agent or principal, and have other direct and indirect interests, in securities, currencies and other instruments in which the Fund may directly or indirectly invest. Thus, it is likely that the Fund will have multiple business relationships with and will invest in, engage in transactions with, make voting decisions with respect to, or obtain services from, entities for which BFA or an Affiliate seeks to perform investment banking or other services.

BFA or one or more Affiliates may engage in proprietary trading and advise accounts and funds that have investment objectives similar to those of the Fund and/or that engage in and compete for transactions in the same types of securities, currencies and other instruments as the Fund, including in securities issued by other open-end and closed-end investment management companies, including investment companies that are affiliated with the Fund and BFA, to the extent permitted under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). The trading activities of BFA and these Affiliates are carried out without reference to positions held directly or indirectly by the Fund and may result in BFA or an Affiliate having positions that are adverse to those of the Fund.

No Affiliate is under any obligation to share any investment opportunity, idea or strategy with the Fund. As a result, an Affiliate may compete with the Fund for appropriate investment opportunities. As a result of this and several other factors, the results of the Fund’s investment activities may differ from those of an Affiliate and of other accounts managed by an Affiliate, and it is possible that the Fund could sustain losses during periods in which one or more Affiliates and other accounts achieve profits on their trading for proprietary or other accounts. The opposite result is also possible.

The Fund may, from time to time, enter into transactions in which BFA or an Affiliate’s clients have an interest adverse to the Fund. Furthermore, transactions undertaken by Affiliate-advised clients may adversely impact the Fund. Transactions by one or more Affiliate-advised clients or BFA may have the effect of diluting or otherwise disadvantaging the values, prices or investment strategies of the Fund.

The Fund’s activities may be limited because of regulatory restrictions applicable to one or more Affiliates, and/or their internal policies designed to comply with such restrictions. In addition, the Fund may invest in securities of companies with which an Affiliate has developed or is trying to develop investment banking relationships or in which an Affiliate has significant debt or equity investments. The Fund also may invest in securities of companies for which an Affiliate provides or may someday provide research coverage. An Affiliate may have business relationships with and purchase or distribute or sell services or products from or to distributors, consultants or others who recommend the Fund or who engage in transactions with or for the Fund, and may receive compensation for such services. The Fund may also make brokerage and other payments to Affiliates in connection with the Fund’s portfolio investment transactions.

 

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Pursuant to a securities lending program approved by the Board, the Fund has retained an Affiliate of BFA to serve as the securities lending agent for the Fund to the extent that the Fund participates in the securities lending program. For these services, the lending agent may receive a fee from the Fund, including a fee based on the returns earned on the Fund’s investment of the cash received as collateral for any loaned securities. In addition, one or more Affiliates may be among the entities to which the Fund may lend its portfolio securities under the securities lending program.

The activities of BFA or the Affiliates may give rise to other conflicts of interest that could disadvantage the Fund and its shareholders. BFA has adopted policies and procedures designed to address these potential conflicts of interest. See the Fund’s SAI for further information.

Legal Proceedings. On January 18, 2013, a lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee by Laborers’ Local 265 Pension Fund and Plumbers and Pipefitters Local No. 572 Pension Fund against BFA, BTC, and the current members of the iShares Trust Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors of iShares, Inc. (collectively, “Defendants”) for alleged violations of, among other things, Sections 36(a) and 36(b) of the 1940 Act. The complaint purports to be brought derivatively on behalf of iShares Trust and iShares, Inc., as well as the following eight funds: iShares Russell MidCap Index Fund; iShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund; iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund; iShares Russell 2000 Growth Index Fund; iShares Russell 2000 Value Index Fund; iShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF; iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF; and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index Fund (the “Funds”). The complaint alleges, among other things, that BFA and BTC breached their fiduciary duties under the 1940 Act by charging allegedly excessive fees in connection with the provision of securities lending services to the Funds, that the individual defendants breached their fiduciary duties under the 1940 Act by approving those fee arrangements, and that the securities lending contracts are unenforceable under Section 47(b) of the 1940 Act. Plaintiffs seek injunctive relief, rescission of the securities lending contracts and, monetary damages of an unspecified amount. Defendants believe the claims are without merit and intend to vigorously defend themselves against the allegations in the lawsuit. On March 11, 2013, the Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

Shareholder Information

Additional shareholder information, including how to buy and sell shares of the Fund, is available free of charge by calling toll-free: 1-800-iShares (1-800-474-2737) or visiting our website at www.iShares.com.

Buying and Selling Shares. Shares of the Fund may be acquired or redeemed directly from the Fund only in Creation Units or multiples thereof, as discussed in the Creations and Redemptions section of this Prospectus. Only an Authorized Participant (as defined in the Creations and Redemptions section) may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the Fund. Once created, shares of the Fund generally trade in the secondary market in amounts less than a Creation Unit.

Shares of the Fund are listed on a national securities exchange for trading during the trading day. Shares can be bought and sold throughout the trading day like shares of other publicly traded companies. The Trust does not impose any minimum investment

 

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for shares of the Fund purchased on an exchange. The Fund’s shares trade under the trading symbol “MUAE.”

Buying or selling Fund shares on an exchange involves two types of costs that may apply to all securities transactions. When buying or selling shares of the Fund through a broker, you will likely incur a brokerage commission or other charges determined by your broker. The commission is frequently a fixed amount and may be a significant proportional cost for investors seeking to buy or sell small amounts of shares. In addition, you may incur the cost of the “spread,” that is, any difference between the bid price and the ask price. The spread varies over time for shares of the Fund based on the Fund’s trading volume and market liquidity, and is generally lower if the Fund has a lot of trading volume and market liquidity, and higher if the Fund has little trading volume and market liquidity.

The Board has adopted a policy of not monitoring for frequent purchases and redemptions of Fund shares (“frequent trading”) that appear to attempt to take advantage of a potential arbitrage opportunity presented by a lag between a change in the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities after the close of the primary markets for the Fund’s portfolio securities and the reflection of that change in the Fund’s NAV (“market timing”), because the Fund generally sells and redeems its shares directly through transactions that are in-kind and/or for cash, subject to the conditions described below under Creations and Redemptions. The Board has not adopted a policy of monitoring for other frequent trading activity because shares of the Fund are listed for trading on a national securities exchange.

The national securities exchange on which the Fund’s shares are listed is open for trading Monday through Friday and is closed on weekends and the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The Fund’s primary listing exchange is NYSE Arca.

Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act restricts investments by investment companies in the securities of other investment companies. Registered investment companies are permitted to invest in the Fund beyond the limits set forth in Section 12(d)(1), subject to certain terms and conditions set forth in SEC rules or in an SEC exemptive order issued to the Trust. In order for a registered investment company to invest in shares of the Fund beyond the limitations of Section 12(d)(1) pursuant to the exemptive relief obtained by the Trust, the registered investment company must enter into an agreement with the Trust.

Book Entry. Shares of the Fund are held in book-entry form, which means that no stock certificates are issued. The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) or its nominee is the record owner of all outstanding shares of the Fund and is recognized as the owner of all shares for all purposes.

Investors owning shares of the Fund are beneficial owners as shown on the records of DTC or its participants. DTC serves as the securities depository for shares of the Fund. DTC participants include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and other institutions that directly or indirectly maintain a custodial relationship with DTC. As a beneficial owner of shares, you are not entitled to

 

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receive physical delivery of stock certificates or to have shares registered in your name, and you are not considered a registered owner of shares. Therefore, to exercise any right as an owner of shares, you must rely upon the procedures of DTC and its participants. These procedures are the same as those that apply to any other securities that you hold in book-entry or “street name” form.

Share Prices. The trading prices of the Fund’s shares in the secondary market generally differ from the Fund’s daily NAV and are affected by market forces such as supply and demand, economic conditions and other factors. Information regarding the intraday value of shares of the Fund, also known as the “indicative optimized portfolio value” (“IOPV”), is disseminated every 15 seconds throughout the trading day by the national securities exchange on which the Fund’s shares are listed or by market data vendors or other information providers. The IOPV is based on the current market value of the securities and/or cash required to be deposited in exchange for a Creation Unit. The IOPV does not necessarily reflect the precise composition of the current portfolio of securities held by the Fund at a particular point in time or the best possible valuation of the current portfolio. Therefore, the IOPV should not be viewed as a “real-time” update of the Fund’s NAV, which is computed only once a day. The IOPV is generally determined by using both current market quotations and/or price quotations obtained from broker-dealers that may trade in the portfolio securities held by the Fund. The quotations of certain Fund holdings may not be updated during U.S. trading hours if such holdings do not trade in the United States. The Fund is not involved in, or responsible for, the calculation or dissemination of the IOPV and makes no representation or warranty as to its accuracy.

Determination of Net Asset Value. The NAV of the Fund normally is determined once daily Monday through Friday, generally as of the regularly scheduled close of business of the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) (normally 4:00 p.m., Eastern time) on each day that the NYSE is open for trading, based on prices at the time of closing provided that (a) any Fund assets or liabilities denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar are translated into U.S. dollars at the prevailing market rates on the date of valuation as quoted by one or more data service providers and (b) U.S. fixed-income assets may be valued as of the announced closing time for trading in fixed-income instruments in a particular market or exchange. The NAV of the Fund is calculated by dividing the value of the net assets of the Fund (i.e., the value of its total assets less total liabilities) by the total number of outstanding shares of the Fund, generally rounded to the nearest cent.

The value of the securities and other assets and liabilities held by the Fund are determined pursuant to valuation policies and procedures approved by the Board. The Fund’s assets and liabilities are valued primarily on the basis of market quotations.

The Fund values fixed income portfolio securities using prices provided directly from one or more broker-dealers, market makers, or independent third-party pricing services which may use matrix pricing and valuation models to derive values. Certain short-term debt securities may be valued on the basis of amortized cost.

Generally, trading in non-U.S. securities, U.S. government securities, money market instruments and certain fixed-income securities is substantially completed each day at various times prior to the close of business on the NYSE. The values of such securities used in computing the NAV of the Fund are determined as of such times.

 

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When market quotations are not readily available or are believed by BFA to be unreliable, the Fund’s investments are valued at fair value. Fair value determinations are made by BFA in accordance with policies and procedures approved by the Fund’s Board. BFA may conclude that a market quotation is not readily available or is unreliable if a security or other asset or liability does not have a price source due to its lack of liquidity, if a market quotation differs significantly from recent price quotations or otherwise no longer appears to reflect fair value, where the security or other asset or liability is thinly traded, or where there is a significant event subsequent to the most recent market quotation. A “significant event” is an event that, in the judgment of BFA,

is likely to cause a material change to the closing market price of the asset or liability held by the Fund. Non-U.S. securities whose values are affected by volatility that occurs in U.S. markets on a trading day after the close of non-U.S. securities markets may be fair valued.

Fair value represents a good faith approximation of the value of an asset or liability. The fair value of an asset or liability held by the Fund is the amount the Fund might reasonably expect to receive from the current sale of that asset or the cost to extinguish that liability in an arm’s-length transaction. Valuing the Fund’s investments using fair value pricing will result in prices that may differ from current market valuations and that may not be the prices at which those investments could have been sold during the period in which the particular fair values were used. Use of fair value prices and certain current market valuations could result in a difference between the prices used to calculate the Fund’s NAV and the prices used by the Underlying Index, which, in turn, could result in a difference between the Fund’s performance and the performance of the Underlying Index.

Dividends and Distributions

General Policies. Dividends from net investment income, if any, generally are declared and paid monthly by the Fund. Distributions of net realized securities gains, if any, generally are declared and paid once a year, but the Trust may make distributions on a more frequent basis for the Fund. The Trust reserves the right to declare special distributions if, in its reasonable discretion, such action is necessary or advisable to preserve its status as a regulated investment company or to avoid imposition of income or excise taxes on undistributed income or realized gains.

Dividends and other distributions on shares of the Fund are distributed on a pro rata basis to beneficial owners of such shares. Dividend payments are made through DTC participants and indirect participants to beneficial owners then of record with proceeds received from the Fund.

Dividend Reinvestment Service. No dividend reinvestment service is provided by the Trust. Broker-dealers may make available the DTC book-entry Dividend Reinvestment Service for use by beneficial owners of the Fund for reinvestment of their dividend distributions. Beneficial owners should contact their broker to determine the availability and costs of the service and the details of participation therein. Brokers may require beneficial owners to adhere to specific procedures and timetables. If this service is available and used, dividend distributions of both income and realized gains will be automatically reinvested in additional whole shares of the Fund purchased in the secondary market.

 

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Taxes. As with any investment, you should consider how your investment in shares of the Fund will be taxed. The tax information in this Prospectus is provided as general information, based on current law. You should consult your own tax professional about the tax consequences of an investment in shares of the Fund.

Unless your investment in Fund shares is made through a tax-exempt entity or tax-deferred retirement account, such as an IRA, you need to be aware of the possible tax consequences when the Fund makes distributions or you sell Fund shares. In general, given its investment strategy, the Fund would not be an appropriate investment for a tax deferred retirement account such as an IRA.

Taxes on Distributions. Dividends paid by the Fund that are properly reported as tax-exempt interest dividends will not be subject to regular U.S. federal income tax. The Fund intends to invest its assets in a manner such that dividend distributions to its shareholders will generally be exempt from U.S. federal income taxation, including the federal AMT. Dividends paid by the Fund will be exempt from U.S. federal income tax (though not necessarily exempt from state and local taxation) to the extent of the Fund’s tax-exempt interest income as long as 50% or more of the value of the Fund’s assets at the end of each quarter is invested in state, municipal and other bonds that are excluded from gross income for U.S. federal income tax purposes and as long as the Fund properly reports such dividends as tax-exempt interest dividends. Exempt interest dividends from interest earned on municipal securities of a state, or its political subdivisions, may be exempt from income tax in that state. However, income from municipal securities of other states generally will not qualify for tax-free treatment.

Distributions from the Fund’s net investment income other than from net tax-exempt income, including distributions of income from securities lending and distributions out of the Fund’s net short-term capital gains, if any, are taxable to you as ordinary income. The Fund’s distributions of net long-term capital gains, if any, in excess of net short-term capital losses (capital gain dividends) are taxable to you as long-term capital gains, regardless of how long you have held the Fund’s shares. Distributions taxable as ordinary income or capital gains will be subject to a 3.8% U.S. federal Medicare contribution tax on “net investment income,” beginning in 2013 for individuals with incomes exceeding $200,000 ($250,000 if married and filing jointly). Distributions from the Fund are not expected to qualify as qualified dividend income. In general, any taxable distributions are subject to U.S. federal income tax for the year when they are paid. Certain distributions paid in January, however, may be treated as paid on December 31 of the prior year.

Any market discount recognized on a bond is taxable as ordinary income. A market discount bond is a bond acquired in the secondary market at a price below redemption value or adjusted issue price if issued with original issue discount. Absent an election by the Fund to include the market discount in income as it accrues, gain on the Fund’s disposition of such an obligation will be treated as ordinary income rather than capital gain to the extent of the accrued market discount.

If you lend your Fund shares pursuant to securities lending arrangements, you may lose the ability to treat Fund dividends (paid while the shares are held by the borrower) as tax-exempt income. Consult your financial intermediary or tax adviser.

 

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A 30% withholding tax will be imposed on dividends paid after December 31, 2013, and redemption proceeds paid after December 31, 2014, to (i) foreign financial institutions including non-U.S. investment funds unless they agree to collect and disclose to the IRS information regarding their direct and indirect U.S. account holders and (ii) certain other foreign entities unless they certify certain information regarding their direct and indirect U.S. owners. To avoid withholding, foreign financial institutions will need to enter into agreements with the IRS which state that they will provide the IRS information including the name, address and taxpayer identification number of direct and indirect U.S. account holders, comply with due diligence procedures with respect to the identification of U.S. accounts, report to the IRS certain information with respect to U.S. accounts maintained, agree to withhold tax on certain payments made to non-compliant foreign financial institutions or to account holders who fail to provide the required information, and determine certain other information as to their account holders. Other foreign entities will need to provide the name, address, and taxpayer identification number of each substantial U.S. owner or certifications of no substantial U.S. ownership unless certain exceptions apply.

If you are a resident or a citizen of the United States, by law, back-up withholding (currently at a rate of 28%) will apply to your distributions and proceeds if you have not provided a taxpayer identification number or social security number and made other required certifications.

Shareholders will receive information after the end of each year setting forth the amount of dividends and long-term capital gains distributed to them by the Fund during the prior year. Likewise, the amount of tax-exempt income that the Fund distributes will be reported and such income must be reported on the shareholder’s U.S. federal income tax return.

Taxes When Shares are Sold. Currently, any capital gain or loss realized upon a sale of Fund shares is generally treated as a long-term gain or loss if the shares have been held for more than one year. Any capital gain or loss realized upon a sale of Fund shares held for one year or less is generally treated as short-term gain or loss, except that any capital loss on the sale of shares held for six months or less is treated as long-term capital loss to the extent that capital gain dividends were paid with respect to such shares. Beginning in 2013, any such capital gains, including from sales of Fund shares or from capital gain dividends, will be included in “net investment income” for purposes of the 3.8% U.S. federal Medicare contribution tax mentioned above.

The foregoing discussion summarizes some of the consequences under current U.S. federal tax law of an investment in the Fund. It is not a substitute for personal tax advice. You may also be subject to state and local taxation on Fund distributions and sales of shares. Consult your personal tax adviser about the potential tax consequences of an investment in shares of the Fund under all applicable tax laws.

Creations and Redemptions. Prior to trading in the secondary market, shares of the Fund are “created” at NAV by market makers, large investors and institutions only in block-size Creation Units of 50,000 shares or multiples thereof. Each “creator” or “Authorized Participant” enters into an authorized participant agreement with the Fund’s distributor, BlackRock Investments, LLC (the “Distributor”), an affiliate of BFA.

 

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A creation transaction, which is subject to acceptance by the transfer agent, generally takes place when an Authorized Participant deposits into the Fund a designated portfolio of securities (including any portion of such securities for which cash may be substituted) (“Deposit Securities”) and a specified amount of cash approximating the holdings of the Fund in exchange for a specified number of Creation Units. To the extent practicable, the composition of such portfolio generally corresponds pro rata to the holdings of the Fund.

Similarly, shares can be redeemed only in Creation Units, generally for a designated portfolio of securities (including any portion of such securities for which cash may be substituted) held by the Fund (“Fund Securities”) and a specified amount of cash. Except when aggregated in Creation Units, shares are not redeemable by the Fund.

The prices at which creations and redemptions occur are based on the next calculation of NAV after a creation or redemption order is received in an acceptable form under the authorized participant agreement.

The portfolio of securities required for purchase of a Creation Unit may be different than the portfolio of securities the Fund will deliver upon redemption of Fund shares. The Deposit Securities and Fund Securities, as applicable, in connection with a purchase or redemption of a Creation Unit, generally will correspond pro rata, to the extent practicable, to the securities held by the Fund.

Only an Authorized Participant may create or redeem Creation Units directly with the Fund.

As a result of any system failure or other interruption, orders either may not be executed according to the Fund’s instructions or may not be executed at all, or the Fund may not be able to place or change orders.

To the extent the Fund engages in in-kind transactions, the Fund intends to comply with the U.S. federal securities laws in accepting securities for deposit and satisfying redemptions with redemption securities by, among other means, assuring that any securities accepted for deposit and any securities used to satisfy redemption requests will be sold in transactions that would be exempt from registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “1933 Act”). Further, an Authorized Participant that is not a “qualified institutional buyer,” as such term is defined under Rule 144A of the 1933 Act, will not be able to receive securities that are restricted securities eligible for resale under Rule 144A.

Creations and redemptions must be made through a firm that is either a member of the Continuous Net Settlement System of the National Securities Clearing Corporation or a DTC participant and has executed an agreement with the Distributor with respect to creations and redemptions of Creation Unit aggregations. Information about the procedures regarding creation and redemption of Creation Units (including the cut-off times for receipt of creation and redemption orders) is included in the Fund’s SAI.

Because new shares may be created and issued on an ongoing basis, at any point during the life of the Fund a “distribution,” as such term is used in the 1933 Act, may be occurring. Broker-dealers and other persons are cautioned that some activities on their part may, depending on the circumstances, result in their being deemed participants in a distribution in a manner that could render them statutory underwriters and subject to

 

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the prospectus delivery and liability provisions of the 1933 Act. Any determination of whether one is an underwriter must take into account all the relevant facts and circumstances of each particular case.

Broker-dealers should also note that dealers who are not “underwriters” but are participating in a distribution (as contrasted to ordinary secondary transactions), and thus dealing with shares that are part of an “unsold allotment” within the meaning of Section 4(3)(C) of the 1933 Act, would be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(3) of the 1933 Act. For delivery of prospectuses to exchange members, the prospectus delivery mechanism of Rule 153 under the 1933 Act is available only with respect to transactions on a national securities exchange.

Costs Associated with Creations and Redemptions. Authorized Participants are charged standard creation and redemption transaction fees to offset transfer, processing and other transaction costs associated with the issuance and redemption of Creation Units. The standard creation and redemption transaction fees are set forth in the table below. The standard creation transaction fee is charged to the Authorized Participant on the day such Authorized Participant creates a Creation Unit, and is the same regardless of the number of Creation Units purchased by the Authorized Participant on the applicable business day. Similarly, the standard redemption transaction fee is charged to the Authorized Participant on the day such Authorized Participant redeems a Creation Unit, and is the same regardless of the number of Creation Units redeemed by the Authorized Participant on the applicable business day. Creations and redemptions for cash (when cash creations and redemptions (in whole or in part) are available or specified) are also subject to an additional charge (up to the maximum amounts shown in the table below). This charge is intended to compensate for brokerage, tax, foreign exchange, execution, market impact and other costs and expenses related to cash transactions. Investors who use the services of a broker or other financial intermediary to acquire or dispose of Fund shares may pay fees for such services.

The following table shows, as of May 31, 2012, the approximate value of one Creation Unit, standard fees and maximum additional charges for creations and redemptions (as described above):

 

Approximate
Value of a
Creation Unit

 

Creation
Unit Size

 

Standard
Creation/
Redemption
Transaction Fee

 

Maximum Additional
Charge for

Creations*

 

Maximum Additional
Charge for

Redemptions*

$2,677,000   50,000   $100   3.0%   2.0%

 

 

  * As a percentage of the net asset value per Creation Unit, inclusive, in the case of redemptions, of the standard redemption transaction fee.

Householding. Householding is an option available to certain Fund investors. Householding is a method of delivery, based on the preference of the individual investor, in which a single copy of certain shareholder documents can be delivered to investors who share the same address, even if their accounts are registered under different names. Please contact your broker-dealer if you are interested in enrolling in householding and receiving a single copy of prospectuses and other shareholder

 

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documents, or if you are currently enrolled in householding and wish to change your householding status.

Distribution

The Distributor distributes Creation Units for the Fund on an agency basis. The Distributor does not maintain a secondary market in shares of the Fund. The Distributor has no role in determining the policies of the Fund or the securities that are purchased or sold by the Fund. The Distributor’s principal address is 525 Washington Boulevard, Suite 1405, Jersey City, NJ 07310.

In addition, BFA or its Affiliates make payments to broker-dealers, registered investment advisors, banks or other intermediaries (together, “intermediaries”) related to marketing activities and presentations, educational training programs, conferences, the development of technology platforms and reporting systems, or their making shares of the Fund and certain other iShares funds available to their customers generally and in certain investment programs. Such payments, which may be significant to the intermediary, are not made by the Fund. Rather, such payments are made by BFA or its Affiliates from their own resources, which come directly or indirectly in part from fees paid by the iShares funds complex. Payments of this type are sometimes referred to as revenue-sharing payments. A financial intermediary may make decisions about which investment options it recommends or makes available, or the level of services provided, to its customers based on the payments it is eligible to receive. Therefore, such payments to an intermediary create conflicts of interest between the intermediary and its customers and may cause the intermediary to recommend the Fund or other iShares funds over another investment. More information regarding these payments is contained in the Fund’s SAI. Please contact your salesperson or other investment professional for more information regarding any such payments his or her firm may receive from BFA or its Affiliates.

 

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Financial Highlights

The financial highlights table is intended to help investors understand the Fund’s financial performance since inception. Certain information reflects financial results for a single share of the Fund. The total returns in the table represent the rate that an investor would have earned (or lost) on an investment in the Fund, assuming reinvestment of all dividends and distributions. This information has been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, whose report is included, along with the Fund’s financial statements, in the Fund’s Annual Report (available upon request).

Financial Highlights

(For a share outstanding throughout each period)

 

     Year ended
Mar. 31, 2012
    Year ended
Mar. 31, 2011
    Period from
Jan. 7,  2010a
to

Mar. 31, 2010
 

Net asset value, beginning of period

   $ 50.55      $ 49.72      $ 49.66   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Income from investment operations:

      

Net investment incomeb

     0.98        1.11        0.26   

Net realized and unrealized gain (loss)c

     2.65        0.83        (0.04
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total from investment operations

     3.63        1.94        0.22   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Less distributions from:

      

Net investment income

     (0.99     (1.11     (0.16
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total distributions

     (0.99     (1.11     (0.16
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net asset value, end of period

   $ 53.19      $ 50.55      $ 49.72   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total return

     7.23     3.91     0.44 %d 
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Ratios/Supplemental data:

      

Net assets, end of period (000s)

   $ 34,573      $ 17,694      $ 4,972   

Ratio of expenses to average net assetse

     0.30     0.30     0.30

Ratio of net investment income to average net assetse

     1.87     2.17     2.25

Portfolio turnover ratef

     1     4     0

 

 

  a

Commencement of operations.

  b

Based on average shares outstanding throughout each period.

  c

The amounts reported for a share outstanding may not accord with the change in aggregate gains and losses in securities for the fiscal period due to the timing of capital share transactions in relation to the fluctuating market values of the Fund’s underlying securities.

  d

Not annualized.

  e

Annualized for periods of less than one year.

  f

Portfolio turnover rates exclude portfolio securities received or delivered as a result of processing capital share transactions in Creation Units.

 

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Index Provider

S&P is the Index Provider for the Underlying Index and is not affiliated with the Trust, BFA, State Street, the Distributor or any of their respective affiliates.

S&P provides financial, economic and investment information and analytical services to the financial community. S&P calculates and maintains the S&P Global 1200TM, which includes the S&P 500® for the United States, the S&P Europe 350TM for Continental Europe and the United Kingdom, the S&P/TOPIX 150TM for Japan, the S&P Asia 50TM, the S&P/TSX 60TM for Canada, the S&P/ASX 50TM and the S&P Latin America 40TM. S&P also publishes the S&P MidCap 400®, S&P SmallCap 600®, S&P Composite 1500® and S&P REIT CompositeTM for the United States. S&P calculates and maintains the S&P Global Broad Market Index (BMI) Series, a set of comprehensive rules-based equity benchmarks covering developed and emerging countries around the world. Company additions to and deletions from a S&P equity index do not in any way reflect an opinion on the investment merits of the company.

BFA or its affiliates has entered into a license agreement with the Index Provider to use the Underlying Index. BFA or its affiliates sublicenses rights in the Underlying Index to the Trust at no charge.

Disclaimers

The Fund is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by S&P or its affiliates. S&P and its affiliates make no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of shares of the Fund or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally or in the Fund particularly or the ability of the Underlying Index to track general stock market performance. S&P and its affiliates’ only relationship to the Trust and BFA or its affiliates is the licensing of certain trademarks and trade names of S&P and its affiliates and of the Underlying Index which is determined, composed and calculated by S&P and its affiliates without regard to the Trust, BFA or its affiliates or the Fund. S&P and its affiliates have no obligation to take the needs of BFA or its affiliates or the owners of shares of the Fund into consideration in determining, composing or calculating the Underlying Index. S&P and its affiliates are not responsible for and have not participated in the determination of the prices and amount of shares of the Fund, or the timing of the issuance or sale of such shares or in the determination or calculation of the equation by which shares of the Fund are to be converted into cash. S&P and its affiliates have no obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of shares of the Fund. S&P and its affiliates do not guarantee the accuracy or the completeness of the Underlying Index or any data included therein and S&P and its affiliates shall have no liability for any errors, omissions, or interruptions therein.

S&P AND ITS AFFILIATES MAKE NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED BY BFA OR ITS AFFILIATES, OWNERS OF SHARES OF THE FUND OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY FROM THE USE OF THE UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. S&P AND ITS AFFILIATES MAKE NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES AND EXPRESSLY

 

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DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE WITH RESPECT TO THE UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT SHALL S&P AND ITS AFFILIATES HAVE ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, DIRECT, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING LOST PROFITS) RESULTING FROM THE USE OF THE UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN, EVEN IF NOTIFIED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

Shares of the Fund are not sponsored, endorsed or promoted by NYSE Arca. NYSE Arca makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of the shares of the Fund or any member of the public regarding the ability of the Fund to track the total return performance of the Underlying Index or the ability of the Underlying Index to track stock market performance. NYSE Arca is not responsible for, nor has it participated in, the determination of the compilation or the calculation of the Underlying Index, nor in the determination of the timing of, prices of, or quantities of shares of the Fund to be issued, nor in the determination or calculation of the equation by which the shares are redeemable. NYSE Arca has no obligation or liability to owners of the shares of the Fund in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the shares of the Fund.

NYSE Arca does not guarantee the accuracy and/or the completeness of the Underlying Index or any data included therein. NYSE Arca makes no warranty, express or implied, as to results to be obtained by the Trust on behalf of the Fund as licensee, licensee’s customers and counterparties, owners of the shares of the Fund, or any other person or entity from the use of the subject index or any data included therein in connection with the rights licensed as described herein or for any other use. NYSE Arca makes no express or implied warranties and hereby expressly disclaims all warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose with respect to the Underlying Index or any data included therein. Without limiting any of the foregoing, in no event shall NYSE Arca have any liability for any direct, indirect, special, punitive, consequential or any other damages (including lost profits) even if notified of the possibility of such damages.

BFA does not guarantee the accuracy or the completeness of the Underlying Index or any data included therein and BFA shall have no liability for any errors, omissions or interruptions therein.

BFA makes no warranty, express or implied, to the owners of shares of the Fund or to any other person or entity, as to results to be obtained by the Fund from the use of the Underlying Index or any data included therein. BFA makes no express or implied warranties and expressly disclaims all warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose or use with respect to the Underlying Index or any data included therein. Without limiting any of the foregoing, in no event shall BFA have any liability for any special, punitive, direct, indirect or consequential damages (including lost profits), even if notified of the possibility of such damages.

 

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Supplemental Information

I. Premium/Discount Information

The table that follows presents information about the differences between the daily market price on secondary markets for shares of the Fund and the Fund’s NAV. NAV is the price at which the Fund issues and redeems shares. It is calculated in accordance with the standard formula for valuing mutual fund shares. The price used to calculate market returns (“Market Price”) of the Fund generally is determined using the midpoint between the highest bid and the lowest offer on the primary securities exchange on which shares of the Fund are listed for trading, as of the time that the Fund’s NAV is calculated. The Fund’s Market Price may be at, above or below its NAV. The NAV of the Fund will fluctuate with changes in the value of its portfolio holdings. The Market Price of the Fund will fluctuate in accordance with changes in its NAV, as well as market supply and demand.

Premiums or discounts are the differences (expressed as a percentage) between the NAV and Market Price of the Fund on a given day, generally at the time the NAV is calculated. A premium is the amount that the Fund is trading above the reported NAV, expressed as a percentage of the NAV. A discount is the amount that the Fund is trading below the reported NAV, expressed as a percentage of the NAV.

The following information shows the frequency of distributions of premiums and discounts for the Fund for each full calendar quarter of 2011 through June 30, 2012.

Each line in the table shows the number of trading days in which the Fund traded within the premium/discount range indicated. The number of trading days in each premium/ discount range is also shown as a percentage of the total number of trading days in the period covered by the table. All data presented here represents past performance, which cannot be used to predict future results.

 

Premium/Discount Range

   Number of Days        Percentage of Total Days  
Greater than 2.0% and Less than 2.5%      1           0.27%   
Greater than 1.5% and Less than 2.0%      5           1.33     
Greater than 1.0% and Less than 1.5%      4           1.06     
Greater than 0.5% and Less than 1.0%      51           13.53     
Between 0.5% and -0.5%      270           71.61     
Less than -0.5% and Greater than -1.0%      35           9.28     
Less than -1.0% and Greater than -1.5%      11           2.92     
  

 

 

      

 

 

 
     377           100.00%   
  

 

 

      

 

 

 

 

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II. Total Return Information

The table that follows presents information about the total returns of the Fund and the Underlying Index as of the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012.

“Average Annual Total Returns” represent the average annual change in value of an investment over the periods indicated. “Cumulative Total Returns” represent the total change in value of an investment over the period indicated.

The Fund’s NAV is the value of one share of the Fund as calculated in accordance with the standard formula for valuing mutual fund shares. The NAV return is based on the NAV of the Fund and the market return is based on the Market Price of the Fund. Market Price is determined by using the midpoint between the highest bid and the lowest offer on the primary stock exchange on which shares of the Fund are listed for trading, as of the time that the Fund’s NAV is calculated. Since shares of the Fund did not trade in the secondary market until after the Fund’s inception, for the period from inception to the first day of secondary market trading in shares of the Fund, the NAV of the Fund is used as a proxy for the Market Price to calculate market returns. Market and NAV returns assume that dividends and capital gain distributions have been reinvested in the Fund at Market Price and NAV, respectively.

An index is a statistical composite that tracks a specified financial market or sector. Unlike the Fund, the Underlying Index does not actually hold a portfolio of securities and therefore does not incur the expenses incurred by the Fund. These expenses negatively impact the performance of the Fund. Also, market returns do not include brokerage commissions that may be payable on secondary market transactions. If brokerage commissions were included, market returns would be lower. The returns shown in the following table do not reflect the deduction of taxes that a shareholder would pay on Fund distributions or the redemption or sale of Fund shares. The investment return and principal value of shares of the Fund will vary with changes in market conditions. Shares of the Fund may be worth more or less than their original cost when they are redeemed or sold in the market. The Fund’s past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Performance as of March 31, 2012

 

Average Annual Total Returns   Cumulative Total Returns
Year Ended 3/31/12   Inception to 3/31/12*   Inception to 3/31/12*
NAV   MARKET   INDEX   NAV   MARKET   INDEX   NAV   MARKET   INDEX
7.23%   7.22%   7.32%   5.16%   5.36%   5.79%   11.90%   12.37%   13.50%

 

 

  * Total returns for the period since inception are calculated from the inception date of the Fund (1/7/10). The first day of secondary market trading in shares of the Fund was 1/8/10.

 

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LOGO

 

 

 

For more information visit www.iShares.com or call 1-800-474-2737

Copies of the Prospectus, SAI and recent shareholder reports can be found on our website at www.iShares.com. For more information about the Fund, you may request a copy of the SAI. The SAI provides detailed information about the Fund and is incorporated by reference into this Prospectus. This means that the SAI, for legal purposes, is a part of this Prospectus.

Additional information about the Fund’s investments is available in the Fund’s Annual and Semi-Annual reports to shareholders. In the Fund’s Annual Report, you will find a discussion of the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected the Fund’s performance during the last fiscal year.

If you have any questions about the Trust or shares of the Fund or you wish to obtain the SAI, Semi-Annual or Annual report free of charge, please:

 

  Call: 1-800-iShares or 1-800-474-2737 (toll free) Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (Eastern time)

 

  Email: iSharesETFs@blackrock.com

 

  Write: c/o BlackRock Investments, LLC 525 Washington Boulevard, Suite 1405, Jersey City, NJ 07310

Information about the Fund (including the SAI) can be reviewed and copied at the SEC’s Public Reference Room in Washington, D.C., and information on the operation of the Public Reference Room may be obtained by calling the SEC at 1-202-551-8090. Reports and other information about the Fund are available on the EDGAR database on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov, and copies of this information may be obtained, after paying a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the following e-mail address: publicinfo@sec.gov, or by writing to the SEC’s Public Reference Section, Washington, D.C. 20549-1520.

No person is authorized to give any information or to make any representations about the Fund and its shares not contained in this Prospectus and you should not rely on any other information. Read and keep the Prospectus for future reference.

Investment Company Act File No.: 811-09729

 

LOGO   
   LOGO

 

IS-P-MUAE-0413


Table of Contents
LOGO   

August 1, 2012

(as revised April 15, 2013)

2012 Prospectus

 

iShares 2017 S&P AMT-Free Municipal Series

MUAF • NYSE ARCA

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has not approved or disapproved these securities or passed upon the adequacy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

 

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

 

Fund Overview      S-1   
More Information About the Fund      1   
A Further Discussion of Principal Risks      2   
Portfolio Holdings Information      7   
Management      7   
Shareholder Information      10   
Distribution      18   
Financial Highlights      19   
Index Provider      20   
Disclaimers      20   
Supplemental Information      22   

 

“STANDARD & POOR’S®,” “S&P®,” “S&P INDICES®” and “S&P AMT-Free Municipal Series 2017 IndexTM” are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and have been licensed for use by BlackRock Fund Advisors or its affiliates. iShares® is a registered trademark of BlackRock Fund Advisors or its affiliates.

 

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Table of Contents

iSHARES® 2017 S&P AMT-FREE MUNICIPAL SERIES

 

Ticker: MUAF   Stock Exchange: NYSE Arca

Investment Objective

The iShares 2017 S&P AMT-Free Municipal Series (the “Fund”) seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the S&P AMT-Free Municipal Series 2017 IndexTM (the “Underlying Index”). The Fund does not seek to return any predetermined amount at maturity.

Fees and Expenses

The following table describes the fees and expenses that you will incur if you own shares of the Fund. The investment advisory agreement between iShares Trust (the “Trust”) and BlackRock Fund Advisors (“BFA”) (the “Investment Advisory Agreement”) provides that BFA will pay all operating expenses of the Fund, except interest expenses, taxes, brokerage expenses, future distribution fees or expenses, and extraordinary expenses.

You may also incur usual and customary brokerage commissions when buying or selling shares of the Fund, which are not reflected in the example that follows:

 

Annual Fund Operating Expenses

(ongoing expenses that you pay each year as a

percentage of the value of your investments)

Management
Fees

 

Distribution and
Service (12b-1)
Fees

 

Other
Expenses

 

Total Annual
Fund
Operating
Expenses

0.30%   None   None   0.30%

Example. This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of owning shares of the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then sell all of your shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions, your costs would be:

 

1 Year

 

3 Years

 

5 Years

 

10 Years

$31   $97   $169   $381

Portfolio Turnover. The Fund may pay transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Fund shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in Annual Fund Operating Expenses or in the Example, affect the Fund’s performance. During the most recent fiscal year, the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate was 4% of the average value of its portfolio.

 

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Principal Investment Strategies

The Underlying Index measures the performance of investment-grade, noncallable U.S. municipal bonds maturing in 2017. As of March 31, 2012, there were 1,624 issues in the Underlying Index.

The Underlying Index includes municipal bonds primarily from issuers that are state or local governments or agencies (including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and U.S. territories such as the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam) such that the interest on the bonds is exempt from U.S. federal income taxes and the federal alternative minimum tax (“AMT”). Each bond must have a rating of at least BBB- by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, Baa3 by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”), or BBB- by Fitch, Inc. and must have a minimum maturity par amount of $2 million to be eligible for inclusion in the Underlying Index. To remain in the Underlying Index, bonds must maintain a minimum par amount greater than or equal to $2 million as of each rebalancing date. All bonds in the Underlying Index will mature between June 1 and August 31 of the year referenced in the name of the Underlying Index. When a bond matures in the Underlying Index, an amount representing its value at maturity will be included in the Underlying Index throughout the remaining life of the Underlying Index, and any such amount will be assumed to earn a rate equal to the performance of the Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC’s, a subsidiary of The McGraw-Hill Companies (“S&P”), Weekly High Grade Index, which consists of Moody’s Investment Grade-1 municipal tax-exempt notes that are not subject to

federal AMT. The Underlying Index is a market value weighted index and is rebalanced after the close on the last business day of each month.

BFA uses a “passive” or indexing approach to try to achieve the Fund’s investment objective. Unlike many investment companies, the Fund does not try to “beat” the index it tracks and does not seek temporary defensive positions when markets decline or appear overvalued.

Indexing may eliminate the chance that the Fund will substantially outperform the Underlying Index but also may reduce some of the risks of active management, such as poor security selection. Indexing seeks to achieve lower costs and better after-tax performance by keeping portfolio turnover low in comparison to actively managed investment companies.

BFA uses a representative sampling indexing strategy to manage the Fund. “Representative sampling” is an indexing strategy that involves investing in a representative sample of securities that collectively has an investment profile similar to the Underlying Index.

The securities selected are expected to have, in the aggregate, investment characteristics (based on factors such as market capitalization and industry weightings), fundamental characteristics (such as return variability, duration, maturity or credit ratings and yield) and liquidity measures similar to those of the Underlying Index. The Fund may or may not hold all of the securities in the Underlying Index.

The Fund generally invests at least 80% of its assets in the securities of its Underlying Index, except during the last months of the Fund’s operations, as

 

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described below. The Fund may invest the remainder of its assets in cash and cash equivalents (including money market funds affiliated with BFA), as well as in municipal bonds not included in the Underlying Index, but which BFA believes will help the Fund track its Underlying Index. The Fund will generally hold municipal bond securities issued by state and local municipalities whose interest payments are exempt from U.S. federal income tax, the federal AMT and, effective beginning in 2013, a federal Medicare contribution tax of 3.8% on “net investment income,” including dividends, interest and capital gains. In addition, the Fund may invest any cash assets in one or more affiliated municipal money market funds. In the last months of operation, as the bonds held by the Fund mature, the proceeds will not be reinvested in bonds but instead will be held in cash and cash equivalents, including, without limitation, AMT-free tax-exempt municipal notes, variable rate demand notes and obligations, tender option bonds and municipal commercial paper. These cash equivalents may not be included in the Underlying Index. By August 31, 2017, the Underlying Index is expected to consist entirely of cash earned in this manner. Around the same time, the Fund will wind up and terminate, and its net assets will be distributed to then-current shareholders.

The Fund may lend securities representing up to one-third of the value of the Fund’s total assets (including the value of the collateral received).

The Underlying Index is sponsored by an organization (the “Index Provider”) that is independent of the Fund and BFA. The Index Provider determines the composition and relative weightings of the securities in the Underlying Index and publishes information regarding the market value of the Underlying Index. The Fund’s Index Provider is S&P.

Industry Concentration Policy. The Fund will concentrate its investments (i.e., hold 25% or more of its total assets) in a particular industry or group of industries, to approximately the same extent that the Underlying Index is concentrated. For purposes of this limitation, securities of the U.S. government (including its agencies and instrumentalities), repurchase agreements collateralized by U.S. government securities, and securities of state or municipal governments and their political subdivisions are not considered to be issued by members of any industry.

Summary of Principal Risks

As with any investment, you could lose all or part of your investment in the Fund, and the Fund’s performance could trail that of other investments. The Fund is subject to the principal risks noted below, any of which may adversely affect the Fund’s net asset value per share (“NAV”), trading price, yield, total return and ability to meet its investment objective.

Asset Class Risk. Securities in the Underlying Index or in the Fund’s portfolio may underperform in comparison to the general securities markets or other asset classes.

Concentration Risk. To the extent that the Fund’s investments are concentrated in a particular state, region, municipality, market, project type or asset class, the Fund may be susceptible to loss due to adverse occurrences affecting that state, region,

 

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municipality, market, project type or asset class.

Credit Risk. The Fund is subject to the risk that debt issuers and other counterparties may not honor their obligations or may have their debt downgraded by ratings agencies.

Declining Yield Risk. During the final three months prior to the Fund’s planned termination date, its yield will generally tend to move toward prevailing tax-exempt money market rates, and may be lower than the yields of the bonds previously held by the Fund and lower than prevailing yields for bonds in the market.

Fluctuation of Yield and Liquidation Amount Risk. The Fund, unlike a direct investment in a municipal bond that has a level coupon payment and a fixed payment at maturity, will make distributions of income that vary over time. It is expected that an investment in the Fund, if held through maturity, will produce aggregate returns comparable to a direct investment in municipal bonds of similar credit quality and maturity. Unlike a direct investment in municipal bonds, the breakdown of returns between Fund distributions and liquidation proceeds are not predictable at the time of your investment. For example, at times during the Fund’s existence it may make distributions at a greater (or lesser) rate than the coupon payments received on the Fund’s portfolio, which will result in the Fund returning a lesser (or greater) amount on liquidation than would otherwise be the case. The rate of Fund distribution payments may adversely affect the tax characterization of your returns from an investment in the Fund relative to a direct investment in municipal bonds. If

the amount you receive as liquidation proceeds upon the Fund’s termination is higher or lower than your cost basis, you may experience a gain or loss for tax purposes.

Income Risk. The Fund’s income may decline when interest rates fall. This decline can occur because the Fund must invest in lower-yielding bonds as bonds in its portfolio mature, bonds in the Underlying Index are substituted or the Fund otherwise needs to purchase additional bonds.

Interest Rate Risk. An increase in interest rates may cause the value of fixed-income securities held by the Fund to decline.

Issuer Risk. Fund performance depends on the performance of individual securities to which the Fund has exposure. The Fund invests in municipal bonds of issuers that are primarily state or local governments or agencies. Changes to the financial condition or credit rating of an issuer of those securities may cause the value of the securities to decline.

Liquidity Risk. Liquidity risk exists when particular investments are difficult to purchase or sell. This can reduce the Fund’s returns because the Fund may be unable to transact at advantageous times or prices. The Fund invests a significant portion of its portfolio in municipal securities, which may be less liquid than taxable bonds.

Management Risk. As the Fund may not fully replicate the Underlying Index, it is subject to the risk that BFA’s investment management strategy may not produce the intended results.

Market Risk. The Fund could lose money over short periods due to short-term market movements and over longer periods during market

 

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downturns. The recent financial crisis has caused a decrease in the value and liquidity of many securities, including certain municipal securities, and has adversely affected many issuers of municipal securities and may continue to do so.

Market Trading Risk. The Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including the potential lack of an active market for Fund shares, losses from trading in secondary markets, periods of high volatility and disruption in the creation/redemption process of the Fund. ANY OF THESE FACTORS, AMONG OTHERS, MAY LEAD TO THE FUND’S SHARES TRADING AT A PREMIUM OR DISCOUNT TO NAV.

Municipal Securities Risk. Municipal securities can be significantly affected by political or economic changes as well as uncertainties in the municipal market related to taxation, legislative changes or the rights of municipal security holders. Municipal securities backed by current or anticipated revenues from a specific project or specific assets can be negatively affected by the inability to collect revenues for the project or from the assets.

Non-Diversification Risk. The Fund may invest a large percentage of its assets in securities issued by or representing a small number of issuers. As a result, the Fund’s performance may depend on the performance of a small number of issuers.

Passive Investment Risk. The Fund is not actively managed and BFA does not attempt to take defensive positions under any market conditions, including declining markets.

Securities Lending Risk. The Fund may engage in securities lending. Securities lending involves the risk that the Fund may lose money because the borrower of the Fund’s loaned securities fails to return the securities in a timely manner or at all. The Fund could also lose money in the event of a decline in the value of the collateral provided for loaned securities or a decline in the value of any investments made with cash collateral. These events could also trigger adverse tax consequences for the Fund.

Tax Risk. There is no guarantee that the Fund’s income will be exempt from U.S. federal income taxes, the federal AMT or the federal Medicare contribution tax of 3.8% on “net investment income” (effective beginning in 2013).

Tracking Error Risk. Tracking error is the divergence of the Fund’s performance from that of the Underlying Index. Tracking error may occur because of imperfect correlation between the Fund’s holdings of portfolio securities and those in the Underlying Index, pricing differences, the Fund’s holding of cash, differences on timing of the accrual of dividends, changes to the Underlying Index or the need to meet various regulatory requirements. This risk may be heightened during times of increased market volatility or other unusual market conditions. Tracking error also may result because the Fund incurs fees and expenses, while the Underlying Index does not.

 

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Performance Information

The bar chart and table that follow show how the Fund has performed on a calendar year basis and provide an indication of the risks of investing in the Fund. Both assume that all dividends and distributions have been reinvested in the Fund. Past performance (before and after taxes) does not necessarily indicate how the Fund will perform in the future. Supplemental information about the Fund’s performance is shown under the heading Total Return Information in the Supplemental Information section of the Fund’s prospectus (the “Prospectus”).

Year-by-Year Returns1 (Year Ended December 31)

 

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The Fund’s total return for the six months ended June 30, 2012 was 1.67%.

The best calendar quarter return during the period shown above was 3.87% in the 2nd quarter of 2011; the worst was 0.14% in the 1st quarter of 2011.

Updated performance information is available at www.iShares.com or by calling 1-800-iShares (1-800-474-2737) (toll free).

Average Annual Total Returns

(for the periods ended December 31, 2011)

 

    One Year     Since Fund
Inception
 
(Inception Date: 1/7/2010)    

Return Before Taxes

    9.03%        6.85%   

Return After Taxes on Distributions1

    9.03%        6.84%   

Return After Taxes on Distributions and Sale of Fund Shares1

    6.68%        6.18%   
S&P AMT-Free Municipal Series 2017 IndexTM (Index returns do not reflect deductions for fees, expenses, or taxes)     9.28%        7.45%