07 January 2004

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VFM totals over EUR440 million in assets

"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 VFM’s 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 UK’s largest asset management companies. We are very proud of our association with such a high profile partner which has further strengthened VFM’s 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 Valletta’s 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.

Copyright © Newsworks Ltd. Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
The Malta Financial & Business Times, Newsworks Ltd, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann
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