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FUND MANAGEMENT NEWS

Kathleen Brooks
FUND MANAGERS MOVE OVERSEAS
The prospect of tighter regulation and higher taxes has led to an 80 per cent increase in fund managers’ enquiries about relocation from the UK, according to Laven Partners, the consulting group. The prospect that the fund management industry will be exposed to new rules from the Alternative Investment Fund Management Directive is fuelling interest to move to locations such as Switzerland, where the new EU regulation won’t apply. Last week hedge fund manager BlueCrest announced it was relocating its headquarters to Guernsey, and it is unlikely to be the last.

MERCHANTS TRUST IS A WINNER
The Merchants Trust, managed by Simon Gergel of RCM, announced strong results for the financial year that ended on 31 January. Total NAV growth was 63.2 per cent, according to Edison Investment Research. The total return per share, including dividends paid, was 29.2 per cent, higher than the 24.7 per cent return on the FTSE 350 Higher Yield Index. It also announced that it would increase its dividend yield, which marks 28 years of uninterrupted dividend growth. Over the life of the fund the average dividend yield has been more than 9 per cent.

JP MORGAN FUND FOR BRAZIL
JP Morgan Brazil Investment Trust is only open to investors until 16 April. The fund is biased toward small and medium-sized companies in Brazil, which have benefited from the country’s strong recovery from the financial crisis. China’s demand for raw materials has boosted Brazil’s economy – the main stock index, the Bovespa, has risen more than 1,000 per cent since the country’s debt crisis in 2003. JP Morgan is launching the Trust to complete its repertoire of BRIC funds – it already has vehicles that invest in India, China and Russia, which have been popular with investors.