25 July 2001


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VFM to launch Mediterranean Rim Fund

During a press conference at the Hilton Malta, Joseph FX Zahra, Chairman of Valletta Fund Management announced that in the coming days the company will be launching a new fund investing in the Mediterranean region, the La Valette Mediterranean Rim Fund.

Addressing the media, Mr Zahra explained, "This is an important period in the history of Valletta Fund Management since it marks the company's first step to widen its product suite to new capital markets with the aim of also attracting international investors to this new Fund."The La Valette Mediterranean Rim Fund is a new investment opportunity that will primarily consist of a portfolio of securities issued by governments and companies located in the North African region and peripheral southeast capital markets primarily in Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey and Egypt. Since it's easier for small economies to grow, often faster than the larger and more developed economies, these markets offer long-term growth potential. Moreover, these markets also provide investors the opportunity to further diversify their portfolios which traditionally are exposed to more developed markets.

An innovative feature of this new Fund is that initially it is expected that it will distribute income once a year and the investors may choose whether to cash this income or reinvest it in the Fund. The La Valette Mediterranean Rim Fund will be investing in a blend of government bonds but also provides investors with exposure to a careful selection of shares of companies operating in this region. For this new Fund, Valletta Fund Management has appointed Rothshcild Asset Management as investment advisors. Speaking about the technicalities of this new versatile Fund, Alex Illingworth, Investment Advisor from Rothschild Asset Management said that, "La Valette Mediterranean Rim Fund will have 60% of its assets invested in bonds, the majority of which will be denominated in US$ and the remaining 40% in equities. The Fund is tailored in a flexible way so as to be able to change its geographic and asset allocation depending on the potential that these capital markets exhibit. Also present at the press conference were representatives from Cofib Capital Finances from Tunisia and Prime Asset Management from Egypt. These two companies have been appointed by Rothschild Asset Management to provide them with research on their respective capital markets.

The Fund is not yet licensed and is subject to final approval and licensing by the Malta Financial Services Centre.

The value of the investment and the currency in which they are denominated may fall as well as rise. Maltese residents are subject to Exchange Control Regulations.



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