09 November 2005

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Business Today

Investments in Vilhena Funds over Lm75 million

Vilhena Funds SICAV p.l.c. recently held its Annual General Meeting. The Company has also published its Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 30 June 2005. During the period covered, all six Vilhena Funds registered a positive performance. The Funds are managed by Valletta Fund Management Limited, the fund management subsidiary of Bank of Valletta p.l.c.
Addressing the Annual General Meeting, Kenneth Farrugia, General Manager of Valletta Fund Management stated that as at the 21 October 2005, investments in the Vilhena Funds SICAV p.l.c. amounted to over Lm75 million with the scheme providing investors with a range of domestic and international investment solutions. Unique to this scheme are the equity multi-manager funds denominated in Pounds Sterling, Euro and US Dollars, which have delivered strong returns for investors since their launch on the market. In his address, Farrugia stressed that ”Through the Vilhena Multi-Manager Funds, Valletta Fund Management is providing investors with innovative investment solutions providing access to a selection of best performing funds on the market.”
Following the Annual General Meeting, two presentations were made to the Shareholders present. During the first presentation, Vincent E Rizzo, from Rizzo, Farrugia & Co. (Stockbrokers) Limited, the local Fund’s sub-investment advisor, gave an overview of the Maltese market during the period covered in the Annual Report. “The positive performance of the equity market was primarily driven by improvements in most company financial results and a number of corporate actions, which reinforced investor confidence and brought investors back to the market,” said Rizzo. On the performance of the bond market, Rizzo said that this, “maintained steady regular positive returns, with excess demand remaining a prevalent feature in the local market.” He added that, “Upward pressures on bond prices remained with the resultant effect of another good performance from local bonds.”
Speaking about the performance of the international markets, Mark Vella from Valletta Fund Management said that most major equity markets produced positive returns during the period under review. “The European and UK equities continued to produce strong returns, whilst the performance of US equities was somewhat disappointing in comparison. The high price of oil was a key theme throughout the year, as was the strength of the dollar, which weakened considerably against the Euro in late 2004 before rallying sharply in 2005. Economic growth in the Eurozone was lacklustre over the period, led almost entirely by exports, as domestic demand remained sluggish in the face of high unemployment. The strength of the Euro against all the major currencies during the first half of the period also had a negative impact, but this trend reversed in 2005, making exports more competitive,” added Vella.
In his presentation, Vella spoke about the performances of the Vilhena Funds. Amongst the performance figures highlighted by Vella during his presentation, most notable was the strong performance of the Vilhena Malta Fund which from launch date on the 29 October 1997 up to the 21 October 2005, gave an annualised return of 10.09%*. Likewise, the European and UK Multi-Manager Funds, registered strong performances. Launched on the market on 22 June 2004, the UK Multi-Manager Fund delivered an annualised return of 14.34%* up to 21 October 2005. For the same period, the European Multi-Manager Fund registered an annualised return of 16.90%.

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