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Typhoon Investment Management is preparing to launch the Typhoon Japan Fund in January 2003.

The BVI domiciled fund's strategy is based on long/short trading of Japanese equities.

Departing from the usual start-up model of basing its office in London, Paris or Geneva, Typhoon has opted to base itself in Luxembourg, with all administrative, compliance and regulatory matters delegated to Fuchs Associé, the Luxembourg asset management group headed by Jean Fuchs.

Niall Lambert, Director of Typhoon Investment Management, said: "Our clients and prospects indicated they were getting tired of the herd instinct in the key centres and wanted to see more of an independent approach with a new fund. We have differentiated ourselves by being based in Luxembourg, which is well regulated and is the second largest banking centre in Europe."

Typhoon Japan Fund is managed by Tim Kenney and Marc Schreiner. Mr Kenney has spent 17 years of his 30 year career in finance investing in Japan and Asia. He was Chief Investment Officer of Société Générale Asset Management's Asian office in Singapore between 1996 and 1998.

Since 1990 Mr Schreiner has been a senior sales executive and trader covering equities and bonds at DEXIA BIL in Luxembourg.

The new fund's objective is to achieve absolute returns of over 15 per cent per annum with moderate volatility.

Minimum investment is pegged at the US$1 million, although secondary investments at the US$100,000 level can be made, subject to the discretion of the fund's directors.

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