Macquarie launches first Asian hedge fund product

13 September 2005

Macquarie Portfolio Management Limited today announced its first offering of an Asian hedge fund product to Australian retail investors.

Macquarie Equinox Asia Trust (an Australian registered managed investment scheme with Macquarie Portfolio Management Limited as the responsible entity of the scheme) gives Australian retail investors exposure to a reference portfolio comprising seven world class Asian hedge funds, made up of two diversified hedge funds, and five specialist hedge funds.

Macquarie Equinox Asia Trust (Equinox Asia) is the seventh in the retail series of Equinox products, but the first to focus exclusively on Asia.

In the last 12 months the first 3 series of Equinox, which have a broader international focus, have achieved returns of between 10 per cent and 13.5 per cent.

Macquarie Equity Markets Group Division Director, Cathy Kovacs said Equinox Asia was giving retail investors access to an alternative Asian investment that aims for absolute returns - that is, positive returns in a variety of market conditions - with capital protection.

"Macquarie Portfolio Management Limited has sourced some very high quality managers, who have been chosen for their experience, strict risk controls and a sustainable edge in specific Asian markets strategies" Ms Kovacs said.

Ms Kovacs said alternative asset allocations continues to be a focus of investors as they look to diversify their total investment portfolios and reduce their overall risk.

"One benefit of this offering is that it gives investors a unique opportunity to take advantage of the inefficiencies and volatility in the Asia-Pacific region - an incredibly diverse region in terms of markets and economies," Ms Kovacs said.

"It can be an effective means of diversifying a portfolio because the investment is likely to display low correlation to many traditional investment markets like Australian equities, fixed income and property. This allows investors to build a level of defensiveness into their investment portfolios."

Ms Kovacs said Asia-strategy hedge funds had generally been able to achieve superior performance compared with global hedge funds, which may be because the opportunities in these markets have been more prevalent than in developed markets.

Equinox Asia can provide exposure to the following countries: China, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines, Australia and New Zealand. The currency exposure of the underlying portfolio will be hedged to Australian dollars, thereby reducing investors' foreign currency risk.

The Equinox Asia portfolio will be comprised of seven component funds, representing a broad range of investment strategies including equity long/short, and credit and event driven strategies.

Equinox Asia offers a rising capital protection^ facility, plus the possibility of cash distributions and the potential for capital growth. The capital protection will initially be set at 100 per cent and may rise through profit lock-ins^, which work to increase the level of capital protection.

Equinox Asia also offers the potential to earn income, while the payment of any cash distributions will not reduce the level of capital protection.

Macquarie Bank has also made an optional investment loan available to approved Australian investors for 100 per cent of their initial investment. The loan is for a minimum of $40,000.

Ms Kovacs said Equinox Asia may suit a range of investors seeking international hedge fund exposure, including individual investors with a minimum of $10,000 to invest, self-managed super funds and family trusts.

Equinox Asia closes on 11 November 2005^^.

SUMMARY OF THE COMPONENT HEDGE FUNDS IN THE EQUINOX REFERENCE PORTFOLIO

Component Fund Initial Exposure Start Date Compound Annual Return % (currency)
Vision Asia Maximums Fund 40% Apr 02 12.79% (USD)
Macquarie Asia Multi-Strategy Fund 10% Oct 05* N/A
Ashmore Asian Recovery Fund 10% Jun 98 17.30%(USD)
Melchior Japan Fund Limited 10% Feb 03 17.59%(USD)
SR Global Fund (Class B) Asia 10% Jan 94 19.70%(USD)
ADM Galleus Fund 10% Apr 99 16.89%(USD)
Japan Macro Fund 10% Mar 00 20.81%(JPY)

Differences exist in the method by which returns for each component fund have been calculated and some recent returns are unaudited and subject to finalisation. *The Macquarie Asia Multi-Strategy Fund is in existence buy has not commenced trading.

Past Performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Returns are calculated from fund inception to 30/6/05. Returns are net of fees charged by the Component Funds. They are expressed in the currency of the fund and do not take into account conversion into Australian dollars, tax or the Equinox Asia offer. Investors should refer to the Product Disclosure Statement dated 7 September 2005.

For more Information, contact:

Cathy Kovacs
Division Director
Equity Markets Group
Tel: (612) 8232 8683

^Capital protection is provided to the Macquarie Equinox Asia Trust ("Trust") through the Exposure Agreement and not to each individual investor. Capital protection and profit lock-ins will apply on the capital protection date in certain circumstances only and are subject to the terms and conditions of the Exposure Agreement. For full details, you should refer to the Product Disclosure Statement dated 7 September 2005 ("PDS").

^^The Responsible Entity reserves the right to extend the offer period to a date no later than 30 November 2005 in accordance with the PDS.

This general advice has been prepared by Macquarie Portfolio Management Limited ACN 092 552 611 ("Responsible Entity"), the issuer and responsible entity of the Trust. Units in the Trust are offered under the PDS available [from 12 September 2005] from Ask Macquarie. All potential investors should obtain a PDS from the issuer and consider it before making any decision about whether to acquire, or continue to hold, that particular financial product.

We recommend you obtain financial, legal and taxation advice before making any financial investment decision.This advice does not take account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. To the extent permitted by law, the Responsible Entity accepts no responsibility for errors or misstatements, negligent or otherwise. Information may be affected by the accuracy of assumptions, risks and other uncertainties which may cause the actual figures to differ. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Investments in the Trust are subject to investment risk, including possible delays in repayment and loss of income and capital invested. None of Macquarie, the Responsible Entity or any Macquarie Group company guarantees the performance of the Trust, the repayment of capital from the Trust or any particular rate of return. A risk adviser, which is a related party of the Responsible Entity, has been appointed in respect of the Trust to monitor the performance of the funds in the reference portfolio. The risk adviser may receive fees for acting in this capacity. Macquarie or its associates, officers or employees may have interests in the financial products referred to in this information by acting in various roles, may buy or sell the financial products as principal or agent, may effect transactions that are not consistent with this information and may receive fees, brokerage or commissions for acting in these other capacities.

Information current at 12 September 2005.

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