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New European Equity Ethical Fund launched by Standard Life Investments 24.09.07

Leading fund manager, Standard Life Investments today announced the launch of its European Equity Ethical Fund which will be available to investors from Monday 24 th September .

The Fund will primarily appeal to investors looking for exposure to European equities in an investment product which reflects their concerns on social and environmental issues.

Monday 24th September will also mark the launch of Standard Life Investments’ ethical investing micro-site - www.focusonethical.co.uk . The site will feature fund manager interviews, ethical stock stories and literature of interest to the ethically minded investor.

Lead fund manager of the European Equity Ethical Fund, Stuart Fraser said: “The fund is ideally suited to investors looking for long term capital growth and who are excited by the prospects of the dynamic environment of Europe’s stock markets. We will be looking to invest in companies that meet our existing ethical criteria 1 and will actively exclude companies that fail to meet with prescribed standards. We will include however, companies whose business activities are regarded as making a positive contribution - in terms of preserving the environment or improving the quality and safety of human life. In essence, this fund will follow the same consistent and robust investment process adopted by the UK Ethical and Ethical Corporate Bond funds whilst offering the diversification of a dynamic European portfolio.

“The fund will be benchmarked against the IMA Europe ex UK sector and its aim for investment performance is to be consistently above the average fund in the sector for periods of up to one year, and to be top quartile for all longer periods.”

Jacqueline Kerr, Head of Mutual Fund Investments at Standard Life Investments, said: “This is an exciting addition to the asset class set of our ethical fund range which to date encompasses UK Equities (UK Ethical Fund) and Fixed Interest (Ethical Corporate Bond Fund). The fund will draw on the knowledge and expertise of our highly experienced European Equities and SRI teams. Fund manager, Stuart Fraser has over 20 years experience in the industry and has proven the strength of his ability most recently through the consistent and robust performance he has generated for our European Equity Growth Fund which has returned top decile performance over 1, 2 and 3 years and top quartile over 5 years (Morningstar for the period to 1st September 2007, bid-bid).

“Through our approach to corporate governance and socially responsible investing, we have gained a reputation as one of the leading UK institutions in this field. I am confident that our influence in encouraging best practise in environmental and social management within companies, matched with the experience and excellent stock-picking skills of our European equities team, will prove a successful combination for ethical investors.”

Details of the fund.

European equity ethical holdings are determined by a positive and negative ethical screening process.

Positive criteria – the company provides a positive contribution to the environment, has sound employment practises and clear policies and procedures on bribery and corruption.

Negative criteria – the company does not contribute to environmental damage, animal testing, genetic engineering, produce alcohol or tobacco or have an involvement in gambling.

Acceptable’ stock has passed the negative criteria.

‘Preferred’ stock has passed both the negative and positive criteria

Retail charges: Initial – 4%, annual management charge – 1.5%. Institutional charges: initial – 0%, annual management charge – 0.75%. Commission: Initial – 4%.

Minimum lump sum investment - £500. Minimum regular investment - £50.

Peter Shield

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Standard Life Ethical Funds Site

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