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Shore Capital is planning to launch the Puma Sphera hedge fund on 1 December, replicating a proven long-short equity strategy managed by Tel Aviv-based Sphera Fund Management since 2001.

With its main focus on Israeli and Israeli-related companies listed on the Tel Aviv, Nasdaq and other international exchanges, the strategy gained +192.9% net from inception till the end of July 2006 (the local TA 100 index was up +66.1% and the Nasdaq down -15.3% in the same period).

Average annualised returns have been over +21% net since 2001, with annualised volatility of 11.9% vs. annualised volatility of 20.4% for the TA 100 and 25.6% for the NASDAQ (Sources: Shore Capital, NASDAQ, TASE).

Stuart G. MacDonald, Director of Alternative Investments, Shore Capital Ltd., said: 'The new Fund- domiciled in Cayman and listed in Dublin- makes Sphera's expertise available to international investors for the first time. While most Israeli hedge funds are small, Sphera (already supported by nearly USD 150m. of local institutional and private investors' capital) is the largest Tel Aviv hedge fund manager by a considerable margin.'

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