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Russell Investment Group Launches NZ Focused Funds

MEDIA RELEASE

Russell Investment Group Launches New Zealand Focused Funds

AUCKLAND, 27 May 2005– Five new domestic and international funds that have been specifically developed for New Zealand investors have been launched by global investment company, Russell Investment Group.

Russell Investment Group NZ Managing Director, Dr Edward Schuck said two of these funds, the New Zealand Bond Fund and New Zealand Shares Fund were created to provide institutional investors with separate multi-manager solutions for domestic assets. Both funds would be actively managed with the aim of outperforming their target benchmarks - the NZX NZ Government Bond Index and the NZSX50 Net Index.

Dr Schuck said the three other new funds were 100% NZ dollar hedged versions of Russell’s popular Global Bond Fund, International Shares Fund and Alternative Strategies Fund (a multi-strategy fund of hedge funds).

“Institutional investors are now able to implement their investment programs wholly through Russell multi-manager funds, as well as tailor their hedging and domestic/international exposures to their specific needs,” he said.

Dr Schuck said 100% NZ dollar hedging of global equity and hedge fund exposures made sense, ensuring investors captured the benefit of interest rate differentials between NZ and major offshore economies.

“Research conducted by Russell concludes that hedged investors benefit from an exchange risk premium. Our new international fund options offer neat solutions,” he said.

Dr Schuck said all the new funds have the added benefit of being structured as either Australian Unit Trusts or as Irish companies which means they were well suited to the needs of tax-exempt investors.

FUND DETAILS:

New Zealand Bond Fund

The Fund provides exposure to an actively managed portfolio of New Zealand fixed income securities and invests in securities issued by government, local government authorities, agencies and corporates as well as mortgage and asset backed securities with an investment grade credit rating of BBB-/Baa3 or higher.

Two managers with complementary styles, ING and Alliance Capital have been employed by the fund. Both managers seek to add value through a broad market place portfolio but use complementary investment horizons (medium long versus short medium).

New Zealand Shares Fund

The Fund provides investors with access to an actively managed portfolio of New Zealand equities and has been created to allow investors to customise the percentage of New Zealand equities held within their investment portfolio.

The Fund currently employs one manager, Alliance Capital, which combines stock screening with detailed fundamental analysis to create a New Zealand equity portfolio. Another manager with a complementary style will be appointed in the near future.

Global Bond Fund ($NZ hedged)

The Fund gives investors access to a diverse portfolio of international fixed income securities with a built-in $NZ hedging arrangement.

The Fund invests in bond issues by national governments in a number of currencies, investment grade corporate bonds and other non government sectors. The Fund employs three managers taking measured duration, country and currency positions.

International Shares Fund ($NZ hedged)

The Fund provides exposure to a diversified portfolio of international shares. The Fund employs nine complementary managers with differing styles and strategy. The allocations between the managers reflect the manager’s structural roles and our confidence in their alpha generating capability.

Alternative Strategies Fund II ($NZ hedged)

The Fund is a multi manager hedge fund which provides exposure to approximately 20 hedge fund managers, carefully selected across a series of differing styles and markets.

The Fund gives investors access to a non-traditional sector whilst trying to mitigate the risks usually associated with these types of investments.

-ENDS-


About Russell Investment Group:

The Russell Investment Group, a global investment services firm, provides multi-manager investment products and services in more than 35 countries and has been researching investment managers for more than 30 years. Worldwide, Russell manages over NZ$149 billion in assets and advises clients representing approximately NZ$3 trillion. In New Zealand, Russell advises on more than NZ$14 billion in assets and invests around NZ$1.0 billion for NZ investors in Russell Funds. Further information about Russell Investment Group NZ can be found at: www.russell.com/nz

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