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Fisher Funds' Marlin Posts Maiden Loss

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Aug 19 NZPA - Marlin Global, established by Fisher Funds last year to invest in smaller offshore growth companies, posted a net loss of $5.2 million for its first eight months.

The fund, whose launch coincided with the US credit crisis and global market turmoil, said the deficit reflected the decrease in value of Marlin's 28-stock portfolio and included $7.1m of paper losses on investments.

Costs of the initial public offering, which raised $103m, were $2.8m and had been deducted from initial equity, chairman Rob Challinor said.

"Although turmoil in global markets affected share prices, it also presented attractive buying opportunities for our Manager," he said.

Sixty-six percent of funds raised through the IPO were invested by the end of the period.

All companies continued to meet the investment selection criteria, and company news and earnings results were positive despite the negative market environment, Mr Challinor said.

A forecast weakening in the New Zealand dollar over the next year would benefit overall returns.

Operating expenses for the period were $1.3m. The manager's base fee was calculated at the minimum of 0.75 percent of gross assets under management, rather than the 1.25 percent payable if performance met the base benchmark return.

Marlin's share price was a disappointing 28 percent discount to net asset value at the end of June, despite cash comprising 34 percent of total funds, Mr Challinor said.

The board was considering a share buyback programme, but was unable to do so until November. No dividend was declared.

Shares in Marlin last traded yesterday at 67c, having traded between 60c and 94c.

Fisher Funds' Australian-focused fund Barramundi posted a net loss of $29.5m for the year, largely due to a collapse in share price for Credit Corp.

Operating expenses totalled $1.8m for the year. No performance fee was payable.

Directors declared a 2c per share dividend.

Shares in Barramundi fell 3c, or 4.8 percent, to 60c.1

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