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Salvus to become Australasian LIC

Monday 3rd December 2007

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Listed investment company Salvus Strategic Investments plans to change its mandate and start to invest in Australia as well as New Zealand.

Fund manager Andrew Couch told the company's annual meeting last week the fund was expanding to Australian small caps after the exercise of SSI warrants in March next year. It was timed with the adoption of the company's PIE tax status.

He says the move will give the company a larger universe of stocks to choose investments from and it will give the fund "improved diversification characteristics."

He also told the meeting that the change "plays to the manager's international credentials."

Once the change is made Salvus will be a unique proposition on the NZX being the only Australasian listed investment company.

His nearest competitor, Fisher Funds, manage separate New Zealand and Australian funds.

In August Salvus reported a June-year net profit of $7.7 million compared to a loss of $425,000 in the previous period.

The company's net asset value (NAV) of SSI's portfolio rose 38%, compared to a rise of 19% for the benchmark NZSX SmallCap Index.

Chairman Barrie Downey said that since balance date, the portfolio's track record of outperformance has continued, with the NAV rising 2.4% versus a fall in the index of 3.8%.

Salvus's shareprice currently sits at $1.03, while its net asset backing is $1.34 (or $1.17 on a diluted assuming all warrant holders exercising their warrants when the share price is greater than the strike price of $1.00).

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