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Copernico closes Argentina Fund to new investors

Independent investment manager Copernico Capital Partners (Copernico) has closed its Argentina Fund to new investments having raised USD 61 million.

The Copernico Argentina Fund was started in February 2003, with the specific purpose of enabling sophisticated investors to take part in the recovery of the Argentine economy after the devaluation in January 2002, with a "hedge fund" approach.

The fund, which has had average annual returns of almost 33 per cent, has an annualized volatility of 5.7 per cent and a Sharpe ratio of 5.46. Its average net exposure since inception is 53 per cent and the average number of holdings is 22.

In the last six months the group's total assets under management have risen more than 60 per cent and, as at February 2005, are USD 250 million, while the headcount at Copernico has increased from 11 to 15 over the same period.

The Copernico Latin American Strategic Fund with assets under management of USD 140 million remains open to investors interested in the region. Launched in August 1999, the Fund has had average annual returns of almost 13 per cent since inception, annualised volatility is 7.72 per cent and the fund has a Sharpe ratio of 1.26. In October 2004, CFSB Tremont selected this fund as a constituent of its new Emerging Markets Investable Hedge Fund Index ("SECT Emerging Market").

 "We are very pleased to have reached our targeted capacity for the Copernico Argentina Fund and believe that this is reflection of the appetite from investors for specific regional products of this nature, seeking expertise and a local presence," says Ricardo Maxit, chief investment officer of Copernico. "Most of the Argentina Fund's performance to date is attributable to the event-driven nature of the Fund's investments. These remain a constant feature of the Fund's investment strategy."

"We took the decision to close the fund in order to ensure that the fund's existing investors may continue to receive the type of risk adjusted returns targeted for the strategy," he continues. "We will continue to evaluate investment opportunities in Argentina and if we believe that we can open the fund once again to new investors without eroding expected performance we will review the situation in due course.

"Investor appetite for differentiated pan-regional Latin American regional products continues to grow. For those investors who are keen to continue investing on a pan-regional basis, our Copernico Latin American Strategic Fund remains open. As a locally based firm, Copernico's intention is to continue to address specific investor needs in the region by building bottom-up, pan-continental regional portfolios. We remain focused on our primary mandate of producing consistent risk adjusted returns for our clients in all market conditions."

Background notes: Founded in 1998, Copernico Capital Partners ("Copernico") is an independent investment manager.  It is a specialist in event driven and momentum strategies and focuses on Latin-American investment.  As at February 2005, it has funds under management of USD 250 million.

Copernico's investment objective is to offer institutional investors consistent positive returns in a volatile region of the world, through conservative investment management.

The company has two funds: its flagship, launched in August 1999, the Copernico Latin American Strategic Fund, an unregistered Cayman Islands domiciled, multi-strategy vehicle with an event-driven focus, and the Copernico Argentina Fund, also an unregistered Cayman Islands domiciled, launched in February 2003.

Copernico has a staff of 15, including five senior investment professionals. Its partners have over 40 years' investing experience in the region.

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