By Staff | July 14, 2003 | Last updated on July 14, 2003
4 min read

> (July 18, 2003) Altamira is closing down four of its funds, saying that the rates of return are too low to justify their existence.

The asset values of the Global Telecommunications Fund, RSP Japanese Opportunity Fund, RSP Global Diversified Fund and RSP Biotechnology Fund have dropped so much that the fixed costs of continuing are punishing investors holding the units.

Units of the funds may be redeemed without fee until September 30, after which Altamira will redeem any remaining units and distribute the proceeds to investors who missed the deadline.

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Manulife survey shows investors remain cautious

(July 17, 2003) Canadian investors remain cautious, preferring to invest in real estate and fixed investments or just holding on to cold hard cash, according to Manulife Financial’s quarterly investor sentiment report.

“Four years of our polling clearly shows most Canadians traditionally favour safe places to invest — particularly their homes, RRSPs, RESPs and investment real estate,” said Bruce Gordon, Manulife’s executive vice-president and general manager of Canadian Operations.

However, there was stronger interest in stocks, balanced and mutual funds in the quarter, as these vehicles advanced relative to other investments.

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Transamerica adds TOP partners

(July 17, 2003) Transamerica has added Brandes Investments and Franklin Templeton Investments to their partner roster for its TOP Managers Portfolios.

“TOP Managers Portfolios are constructed from mutual funds that have consistently delivered above-average returns versus their peers,” said Geraldo Ferreira, vice-president of investment product marketing and product development. “Our commitment is to closely monitor the underlying funds with the help of Mercer Investment Consulting, and to insert new funds if we believe they can perform a better job for our top investors.”

TOP Managers Portfolio partners include AIC, AGF, AIM/Trimark, CI Funds, Mackenzie, Fidelity Investments and TD Asset Management.

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RBC Mortgage buys Sterling Capital Mortgage

(July 17, 2003) RBC Mortgage Company, an indirect subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada, has inked a deal that will give it 100% control of Sterling Bancshares Inc.’s Sterling Capital Mortgage Company (SCMC).

“SCMC allows RBC Mortgage to enhance its footprint and accelerate its business growth, particularly with first-time home buyers in emerging and high-growth locations in California and Texas,” said Jim Rager, vice-chair of RBC Financial Group and global head of the bank’s personal and commercial banking businesses.

SCMC has 110 branch locations in 16 states and generated $4.5 billion (US) in mortgages last year. The target for 2003 is $7 billion (US) and the deal should be accretive to RBC in 2004.

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CI shuffles managers, mulls fund mergers

(July 16, 2003) CI Mutual Funds has announced the replacement of MFS Institutional Advisors, Inc. of Boston as managers of four funds, effective August 2.

CI American Growth Fund and the Insight U.S. Growth Pool will be managed by Bill Miller, CEO of Legg Mason Funds Management. Eric Bushell, chief investment officer of CI’s Signature Funds group takes over the CI Canadian Stock Fund. CI European Growth Fund will be managed by Nandu Narayanan, chief investment officer of Trident Investment Management of New York.

Peter W. Anderson, CI president, says the affected funds are being considered for mergers with similar funds. MFS will continue to manage the CI World Equity Fund.

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Board directors see pay rising

(July 15, 2003) Directors sitting on corporate boards have seen their pay rise by 29% over the past 2 years, according to the Conference Board of Canada. The demand for qualified, financially savvy directors is outstripping the supply of candidates.

“Organizations are demanding better trained and more committed board members,” said Prem Benimadhu, vice-president of organizational performance. “The use of performance measurement for boards is increasing among our survey respondents. Internal accountability requirements for board members are also on the rise.”

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BluMont raises $83.7 million on Series 2 notes

(July 15, 2003) BluMont Capital has closed its offering of Man-IP 220 Series 2 notes, raising $83.7 million. Added to the funds raised with the Series 1 notes, the total assets in the Man-IP 220 structured product is $146.4 million.

“In today’s challenging market environment, more and more investors are gravitating to investment products with a principal guarantee that offer the potential for positive returns and increased diversification,” said Toreigh Stuart, CEO of BluMont Capital. “The success of the Series 2 Notes offering has clearly demonstrated we have a strong and viable investment solution.”

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CMHC lowers mortgage insurance premiums

(July 14, 2003) Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has announced it will reduce its mortgage loan insurance premiums by 15%, effective immediately.

The corporation, charged with making it easier for Canadians to afford quality housing, said that the fee reduction was a reflection of more accurate risk analysis. In 1996 CMHC launched an automated risking system called emili, which also speeds the process of applying for mortgage insurance.

“Through innovations such as emili, and the experience we have gained through its use, we are now in a position to pass on the benefits to Canadians through reduced homeowner mortgage insurance premiums,” said Karen Kinsley, president of CMHC.

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Wilson leaves CIO office at Altamira

(July 14, 2003) Gisèle Wilson has resigned from the office of chief investment officer at Altamira Investment Services Inc. Anne-Marie Thomas, the deputy CIO, will now assume the role.

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(07/14/03) staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.