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First State launches new global energy long short hedge fund

First State Investments has launched the First State Investments Global Energy Long Short Fund Limited.

The Fund will be managed by David Whitten, Head of Global Resources in Sydney and Todd Warren, Portfolio Manager, Global Resources in London and supported by the team in both locations.

Whitten said: 'Whilst energy is very much in 'vogue' as a sector at the moment, it has always been a key subset of our investment universe. The First State Investments Global Energy Long Short Fund will give investors the opportunity to tap into the global energy consumption story, which continues unabated. Whether it is through oil and gas or alternative sources, we continue to find plenty of long and short investment opportunities within the sector. Our team are specialists in their field and combine technical and commercial skills to our investment style in order to effectively exploit market inefficiencies.'

The First State Investments Global Energy Long Short Fund is designed to achieve risk adjusted absolute returns primarily through investing in and trading the equities of companies in the global energy sector and related financial instruments. This sector comprises companies involved in the discovery, development, extraction, refining, distribution and transport of energy resources including, but not limited to, oil, natural gas, coal, oil shale, uranium and alternative energy sources such as solar, geothermal, wind and bio-fuels.

The Fund will be a long bias, high conviction portfolio, with net market exposure between 50 per cent short and 100 per cent long of net asset value with actual exposure determined by investment opportunities identified. It will sit along side the suite of global resource funds managed by the team, including the USD 319m (as at 24 July 2006) First State Investments Global Resources Long Short Fund which was soft closed to new business at the end of June 2006.

Michael Stapleton, Head of Institutional Business, said: 'The launch of the First State Investments Global Energy Long Short Fund is a natural addition to the existing suite of funds managed by David Whitten and the team. We have seen strong early interest in this product, but still intend that the size of the portfolio will be capped as we have done with the existing hedge fund, First State Investments Global Resources Long Short Fund.'

Background note: First State Investments is the international operation of Colonial First State Global Asset Management, the asset management business of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, one of Australia's largest financial services organisations. Colonial First State Global Asset Management manages GBP 49.9 billion as at 30 June 2006.

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