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Product matters

In the current climate of equity doom and gloom, Jupiter&#39s imminent launch of the emerging European opportunities fund is to some extent an act of faith – in stockmarkets in general, in emerging markets, in a management group with recently slightly slippery hands and in Elena Shaftan, a low-profile fund manager.

Background research throws up some comforting statistics.

As all students of financial markets should know, prices move in cycles and a major correction from a massive bull market is in no way atypical.

The harder skill is to buy low and sell high. We are clearly not at the top, so the holy grail is to recognise when the bottom has passed.

Many Central and Eastern European equities show positive returns over the last 12 months so there are grounds for optimism. It has probably not hurt these markets to have been less than fully integrated into the US/EU-dominated economic bloc, with plenty of scope for growth both from domestic organic growth and restructuring as well as exports to their neighbours in Central and Eastern Europe.

Commerzbank has decided to keep Jupiter for the time being, which should improve staff morale and could help restrengthen its team.

Shaftan&#39s last fund, the CB emerging European market equity, also owned by Commerzbank, has had consistently top-quartile performance.

Since she took over 24 months ago, it has achieved second and first quartiles.

For investors prepared for a punt on equities, this is worth considering.

Michael Both is proprietor of Michael Philips

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