On The Shelf:

By Staff | March 3, 2008 | Last updated on March 3, 2008
3 min read
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(March 3, 2008) Global financial markets have been shaken by problems in the U.S. housing market, with mortgage defaults rising and property values plunging. That isn’t stopping Franklin Templeton Investments from launching the Franklin Global Real Estate Fund.

The corporate-class fund is being positioned as a means for investors to diversify beyond the typical asset classes of bonds and equities, thanks to real estate’s low correlation to these markets.

The fund invests indirectly in real estate sectors in countries ranging from “old Europe to emerging markets,” the company says and is currency-hedged. It will be managed by New York–based Franklin Templeton Institutional, LLC.

Franklin Templeton also launched two new U.S. funds, the Bissett U.S. Focus Corporate Class and the Franklin Templeton U.S. Short-Term Yield Class.

Bissett U.S. Focus is managed by Jason Hornett and Garey Aitken, using a quantitative model. Franklin Templeton U.S. Short-Term Yield uses forward contracts to give investors a return similar to that of the Franklin Templeton U.S. Money Market Fund. This structure allows earnings to be treated as capital gains.

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Ethical Funds hires Swiss data firm

(March 3, 2008) The Ethical Funds Company has signed a licensing agreement with Swiss-based ASSET4 AG, a provider of information on environmental, social and corporate governance issues.

The information from ASSET4 will be integrated into Ethical’s own proprietary corporate sustainability scorecard.

“With the ASSET4 information system, including their global focus, we now have access to the most comprehensive source of environmental, social and governance data available today,” said Robert Walker, vice-president, sustainability, Ethical Funds. “This information will integrate seamlessly into our existing processes, enabling our sustainability analysts to focus on what they do best: apply our proprietary metrics to evaluate, analyze and grade the sustainability performance of investment prospects and the companies we own.”

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RBC proposes changes to Focus List fund

(March 3, 2008) RBC Investments Focus List Trust has proposed changes to its investment objective to allow the fund to invest in income trusts. The current statement of objectives makes no mention of trusts, allowing the fund to invest only in “issuers of shares.”

Pending unitholder approval, the revised objective will read, “The fundamental investment objective of the Fund is to provide capital appreciation by purchasing and holding, for successive quarterly periods, the same securities of Canadian issuers as are announced to the public by RBC Dominion Securities Inc.’s Equity Selection Sub-Committee as comprising its Focus List Portfolio.”

At the same time, the fund is seeking approval to change its name to RBC Dominion Securities Canadian Focus List Portfolio.

The fund’s management hopes the changes will be approved before June 1, 2008, the next rebalancing date for the fund. A special meeting to vote on the changes has been called for April 28, 2008.

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Mackenzie Focus Japan drops JP Morgan

(March 3, 2008) Mackenzie Financial plans to change the management of the Mackenzie Focus Japan Class, a multi-manager fund that currently has five separate investment advisors.

Effective March 31, 2008, JP Morgan Asset Management will be dropped from the fund, and the assets it manages will be evenly reallocated among the remaining managers: AllianceBernstein, Henderson Global Investors, RCM Asia Pacific Limited and Mackenzie Financial itself.


Advisor.ca staff


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