Cluj Takes Mutual Fund Performance Crown from Bucharest

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The BT Index and BT Maxim equity funds managed by BT Asset Management based in Cluj and Globinvest's Napoca, also based in Cluj are the top performing open-ended investment funds in the first quarter of the year.

The equity funds remained the top performing investments of the entire industry of open-ended investment funds in the first quarter of the year. With a 7.47 percent fund unit yield, the BT Index equity fund managed by BT Asset Management is on the top spot of the ranking of funds.

Second spot is occupied by BT Maxim, an equity fund whose unit yield stands at 6.1 percent, managed by the same company as the leader of the ranking.

Third is Napoca equity fund managed by Globinvest based in Cluj, with a yield of 6.06 percent.

Cluj has become the second financial pole of Romania over the last few years: this is where the largest Romanian-held bank, Transilvania is based, as well as four investment management companies: BT Asset Management, Globinvest, Target Asset Management and STK Financial, along with four stock brokers: Broker, BT Securities, Interdealer Capital Invest and Target Capital.

"The funds managed by BT Asset Management witnessed very strong performance in the first three months, fuelled in part by the interests in the capital of companies such as Dafora, which conducted capital increases. In only three months, the total assets managed by the company went up from 60.2 million RON in December to 76.3 million RON in March," says Radu Hanga, chairman of BT Asset Management.

The open-ended investment funds moved from a time of spectacular growth (January) to a time of decline during the first quarter.

After a start of the year in full gear, when the yield of the top performing equity funds would reach as much as 14 percent, the stock market corrections followed, hitting equity funds hard, so that the top performer in March was a fund investing in bonds, Stabilo, with a unit yield of 0.58 percent. The first three months of the year follow the upward trend of the overall open-ended fund industry has followed. Whereas the industry had almost 460,000 RON in net assets of funds, the assets have increased by 40 percent in 2007, to a total of 644,000 RON.

The number of investors that choose to invest their savings in such financial instruments increased from 74,395 in March 2006 to almost 80,000 in March 2007.

The increase was partly generated by the performance of open-ended funds, as well as to the emergence of new investment funds over the last twelve months.

Whereas 26 funds were operating on the market in March 2006, the number of open-ended funds has now reached 31, and the list is still open.

Diversified fund KD Optimus, managed by KD Investments is the newest entry on the market.

With only two investors and about 1 million RON (some 300,000 euros) in net assets, KD Optimus generated a yield of 0.9 percent in its first month in business, February 2007.

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