VFM totals over EUR440 million
"Despite a still uncertain investor sentiment, the
past financial year has been a very positive one for Valletta Fund Management
increasing funds under management by 20 per cent from EUR368 million
as at 30 September 2002 to EUR442 million as at 30 September 2003 represented
by over 35,000 shareholders," VFM General Manager Charles Borg
told a recent annual seminar for Bank of Valletta employees involved
in the promotion and sales of VFMs funds. VFM is looking forward
to another positive year in 2004, particularly in view of the developments
within the EU and the Euro Med region.
In his opening address, Mr Borg referred to the strategic alliance between
Bank of Valletta in and Insight Investment, one of the UKs largest
asset management companies. We are very proud of our association with
such a high profile partner which has further strengthened VFMs
investment management capabilities to the benefit of the long-term interests
of our existing as well as potential new clients."
The seminar was also addressed by Kenneth Farrugia, Assistant General
Manager at VFM. In his presentation, Mr Farrugia spoke about the significant
investor appeal prevailing in both the local and international markets
for bond based funds - "This was only a natural especially when
one considers the fact that when markets are volatile, investors tend
to be attracted to more stable and relatively safe investment opportunities.
In fact, it is interesting to note that our investors did not only seek
local bond funds but also sought to diversify their portfolios to the
Sterling and Euro denominated bond funds, which funds have, to date,
provided very satisfactory performances to investors."
Farrugia adds, "During the last financial year, we have witnessed
a marked improvement in the valuations of equity markets both internationally
as well as domestically. On the domestic side, the largest companies
listed on the Malta Stock Exchange have continued to deliver encouraging
performances and this has in its way contributed to investors reconsidering
equity exposures. Of course this has meant that whilst bond funds have
continued to deliver positive returns, balanced and equity based funds,
like the Wignacourt Malta Fund, the La Valette Malta Fund and the Vilhena
Malta Fund have outperformed pure bond funds.
Dr Ruth Spiteri Longhurst, Manager at Bank of Vallettas Compliance
Unit also addressed the seminar where she spoke about compliance issues
in relation to sales and promotion of funds.
The annual seminar was also an ideal opportunity for a number of representatives
from various Bank of Valletta branches to share their personal experiences
and voice their opinions.