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Artemis aims for extra £2m

Noble & Company is promoting a £2m top-up share issue for the Artemis Alternative investment market (Aim) VCT.

This VCT was established in February 2001 and has raised £41m so far. Over £20m of that has been invested in more than 40 companies that operate in different industries.

The money raised through this C share issue will initially be invested in five Artemis unit trusts &#45 UK smaller companies, UK growth, income, new enterprises and UK special situations &#45 while suitable investment opportunities are being found. It is intended that Aim companies will eventually make up 75 per cent of the portfolio, with 25 per cent invested in Ofex and companies that are seeking a flotation.

The lead fund managers of the VCT are John Dodd and Lindsay Whitelaw who broke away from Ivory & Sime to form Artemis in 1997. Dodd is currently the lead manager of the Artemis UK smaller companies fund. He previously worked for LAS Investment Management, Gartmore and Ivory & Sime. Whitelaw, who currently runs the Artemis new enterprise fund, has worked for 3i and Ivory & Sime.

This is a well-established VCT with an experienced investment team and. opportunities could come to Dodd and Whitelaw&#39s attention through the unit trusts they manage.

However, recent research from BestInvest reveals VCT subscriptions for the 2002/03 tax year was £45m &#45 10 per cent of its level in 2000/01. Investors have fewer capital gains to shield from tax because of the poor state of stockmarkets and are more cautious than they were a few years ago, so new VCT subscriptions have suffered.

According to Standard & Poor&#39s the UK smaller companies fund is ranked 4 out of 64 funds based on £1,000 invested on a bid-to-bid basis with net income reinvested over three years to April 21, 2003.

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