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SMBC Friend and BNP Paribas launch retail fund linked to Yen Index

The Series Trust will be linked to the return of the FTSE Hedge Global Yen Index. It seeks to capture the performance of hedge funds; aiming to achieve consistent returns unaffected by market movements.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


This is the first time access to the FTSE Hedge Index will be available to retail investors in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Japan with principal protection in Yen. The FTSE Hedge Index will be made available by one of Japan's leading institutions, SMBC Friend Securities Co., Ltd., through their extensive retail network.


The Series Trust will offer investors access to the Index in a manner that protects the investors' capital, while accessing a diverse, global selection of hedge funds, reflecting the eight major hedge fund investment strategies.


BNP Paribas has been present in Japan for over 30 years where it counts now more than 660 employees. Mike Watanabe, Head of Equity Products & Fund Derivatives Development Group, BNP Paribas Securities (Japan) Limited, Tokyo Branch, said: " We are very delighted to be able to provide our structuring expertise to this epoch-making transaction and extremely impressed with the co-operation received from SMBC Friend Sec. Co. Ltd., FTSE and MSS. We hope the structure provides a strong performance over mid-term of the stated maturity."


SMBC Friend Securities Co. Ltd. is the company within Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Group and it is the entity after the merger of Meiko National Securities and Sakura Friend Securities. The Company's principal activity is the provision of securities services including dealing, brokerage, underwriting and distribution of securities and related services through a network of over 70 domestic branches across Japan. The Company offers a wide variety of financial products to meet individual customer needs.


Yoshio Tada, General Manager of Products Management Dept., SMBC Friend Securities Co., Ltd., said: "We have been waiting for this type of structure in Japanese Yen and the use of a well known hedge fund index such as FTSE Hedge Index. The official marketing started from 29th of June and we are getting very positive response from our clients."


The MSS Group was founded in May 2001, and is a London-based provider of alternative investment products. MSS manages the hedge fund managed account platform underlying the FTSE Hedge investible hedge fund Index Series and is the FTSE licensed manager of the FTSEhx Fund SPC, whose returns generate the performance of that Index Series. FTSE Hedge can be invested in directly via a fund of funds platform, managed by MSS Fund Management Limited (in US Dollars, Sterling, Yen and Euros).

Simon Hookway, Director, MSS, said: "As a leading supplier of alternative investment solutions, we are very pleased to be working with SMBC Friend and BNP Paribas to bring the FTSE Hedge Index to Japan."

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