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Standard Life makes first foray into investment trusts

Standard Life Investments has moved into uncharted waters with

the introduction of its European private equity trust.

This is Standard Life&#39s first investment trust and it is aimed at

medium-risk investors, as well as institutional investors, who are

seeking growth by investing in Europe.

It will operate as a fund of funds. A total of 19 funds will be included in the initial investment spread, although Standard Life aims to increase this to 35 funds later in the year. The funds will be from companies such as Apax, Cablevision System Corp, Phildrew and Candover. It will invest in European companies that have just been involved in management buy-outs or which display good growth potential.

283 companies will be included for investment in the trust, with these selections having market capitalisations of between 100m Euros and 400m Euros. There will only be an annual management charge of 0.8 per cent.

Standard Life Investments has previously specialised in investing in limited

partnerships, a form of private equity funds. The company&#39s move into investment trusts is an attempt to widen its potential market and to try to attract retail investors and more institutional investors who were unable to invest in limited partnerships due to restrictions laid down by the minimum funding requirement for pensions.

According to Standard & Poor&#39s the Standard Life European equity growth

fund is ranked 87 out of 101 funds, based on £1,000 invested on a bid to bid

basis with net income reinvested over one year to May 21, 2001.

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