Macquarie launches International Infrastructure Securities Fund

26 September 2005

Macquarie Bank Group today launched the Macquarie International Infrastructure Securities Fund, a managed fund that gives investors access to a global portfolio of infrastructure stocks and other infrastructure securities.

The Fund will seek to deliver a return consisting of yield plus capital growth by investing predominantly in listed, non-Macquarie-managed infrastructure securities issued by companies that own or operate infrastructure assets. As this sector matures in Australia, this fund will give investors the opportunity to access a diversified range of infrastructure securities in countries at earlier stages of the infrastructure privatisation process.

Bruce Murphy, Head of Distribution at Macquarie Funds Management said infrastructure was an asset class that was in high demand among retail investors. In particular, retail investors had been demanding an infrastructure managed fund because of the diversification that it can provide within their investment portfolios.

Infrastructure stocks have also been attracting strong attention from superannuation and pension funds who like the stability and long term nature of infrastructure.

"Retail investors are more educated about infrastructure and understand that it is fundamentally different to traditional asset classes. They understand that it can deliver attractive investment returns, even when equity markets are not performing well," he said.

"The Macquarie International Infrastructure Securities Fund is open ended, providing retail investors and financial advisers with year-round access to a specialist infrastructure securities fund.

"Such ready access takes infrastructure from being an opportunistic tilt to a mainstream asset class for both model portfolios and inclusion in client portfolios at annual review, Mr Murphy said.

In conjunction with market leading researchers and advisers, one of the key contributors to the research and development of this product has been Skandia, one of the Australia's leading platforms. Skandia has recognised the opportunity and will be the first platform in Australia to have the product initially available via its model portfolios, expected in September and then for discretionary use from 31 October 2005. ASGARD will have the fund available for investors & advisers from 1 October, supporting it's inclusion on their menus as a strategic innovation in the marketplace.

The global universe of listed infrastructure issuers is made up of more than 350 issuers with a combined market capitalisation of more than A$2 trillion. Australian listed infrastructure companies currently make up less than three per cent of this universe.

One of the two portfolio managers for the Fund, Jon Fitch, said: "We will be looking to invest in companies that own, operate or manage assets that may be strategic, monopolistic or irreplaceable in nature like toll roads, airports, water utilities or electricity transmission grids."

Mr Fitch said that the global trend of privatisation of infrastructure assets and businesses was growing and that he believed that there would be strong growth in the number of companies coming to market.

He said the Macquarie Bank Group had focused on infrastructure investment and management during the past 10 years and as of 31 March 2005, infrastructure funds under management by the Macquarie Bank Group had a total capitalization of approximately A$31 billion in 14 countries.

Macquarie Bank Group-managed infrastructure funds, which hold strategic stakes in infrastructure assets, have been strong performers on the ASX for a number of years.

The Macquarie International Infrastructure Securities Fund will hedge its underlying currency exposure to Australian dollars.

The minimum initial investment in the Macquarie International Infrastructure Securities Fund will be A$20,000 with subsequent investments of A$10,000.

Bruce Murphy
Head of Distribution
Macquarie Funds Management Group
Macquarie Funds Management Group
Tel: (612) 8232 7008

Irene O'Brien
Head of PR & Communication
Macquarie Financial Services Group
Macquarie Funds Management Group
Tel: (612) 8232 3241
Mobile: (61) 417 260 309

Important notes

This information has been prepared by Macquarie Investment Management Limited ABN 66 002 867 003 AFS licence number 237492 ("MIML") for general information purposes only, without taking into account any potential investor's personal objectives, financial situation and needs. A copy of the PDS relating to the Macquarie International Infrastructure Securities Fund (the Fund) is available from MIML on 1800 814 523 or your adviser. Investors should consider the PDS in deciding whether to invest in the Fund. You should obtain appropriate advice before making any decision about whether to acquire this product.

MIML is not an authorised deposit-taking institution for the purposes of the Banking Act (Cth) 1959, and MIML's obligations do not represent deposits or other liabilities of Macquarie Bank Limited ABN 46 008 583 542. Macquarie Bank Limited does not guarantee or otherwise provide assurance in respect of the obligations of MIML.

Past performance of Macquarie Bank Group-managed infrastructure funds is not an indication of the performance of the Macquarie International Infrastructure Securities Fund.

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