Jupiter Unit Trust Managers has designed an onshore unit trust that invests in European emerging markets such as Russia, Hungary and Poland.
The Jupiter emerging European opportunities fund will look for companies in Central and Eastern Europe that appear to offer good growth prospects, backed up by sound finances, solid business plans and competent management teams.
Elena Shaftan, the manager of the fund, has over seven years' experience of investing in Eastern Europe. She joined Jupiter in 2000 after spending six years at AIB Govett Asset Management and currently manages the CB emerging European market equity fund, a Sicav that Jupiter manages on behalf of Commerzbank.
The desire of some Eastern European countries to join the European Union and the euro has lead to structural changes which have helped economic growth. Russia has been growing rapidly since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 and Jupiter thinks this growth is likely to continue. It will invest 50 per cent of the fund in Russia.
Sophisticated investors who are looking for a high level of potential growth and who are prepared to take high risks may find this fund an attractive addition to their portfolio. However, global sentiment also affects Eastern Europe and the JPMorgan Fleming Asset Management into investor confidence for August 2002 shows that investors are still cautious. Few investors may have the appetite to invest in emerging European countries at present.
According to Standard & Poor's, the Jupiter European fund is ranked fourth out of 89 funds based on £1,000 invested on a bid-to-bid basis with net income reinvested over three years to September 6, 2002.