1996 was a busy year for Guernsey's fund management sector with 21 new open ended funds and 57 new classes of umbrella schemes authorised and 29 closed-ended funds granted consent. The number of collective investment schemes totalled 337 (up two from the previous quarter) and the number of unit or share holders reached an all time high of 116,390.

The total value of funds under management at 31 December 1996 amounted to £13.4 billion, an increase of 4.3% over the year.

In the open-ended sector, the value of funds under management at year-end was approximately £9 billion, up 7.2% over the year but down 8% from the previous quarter. This fall was due to the high number of suspensions (18) at their managers' request and the effects of the strengthening of sterling on the world's foreign exchange markets. Five new funds were authorised in the quarter, comprising an India fund, two Russia funds, an emerging markets securities fund and a hedge fund of funds. The funds attracted net new investment of £278 million over the quarter bringing the total for new investment over the year to over £1.3 billion.

The last quarter of 1996 was buoyant for the closed-ended sector with 16 new funds granted consent and one fund changing to open-ended scheme bringing the total number of closed-ended funds to 161; however, 13 funds had not closed prior to the year end. Assets under management fell by approximately 10% of £4.4 billion, largely due to the dramatic strengthening of the pound against the dollar over the quarter. As mentioned in a previous notice, nearly 53% of Guernsey's closed-ended funds are USD denominated.

In terms of trends, there is increasing interest in distressed securities as an asset class (either in its own right or as part of a fund of funds structure), emerging market debt instruments and a re-emergence of cash and property funds. Emerging market equity and venture capital funds continue to attract investors. There are 31 funds in the pipeline: 14 open-ended funds and 17 closed-ended funds.

For further information contact Nigel Taylor or Tammy Menteshvili on Tel: +44 (0) 1481 712706

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