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Value Catalyst Fund (VCF)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Friday 17 March, 2006

Value Catalyst Fund

Interim Results

Value Catalyst Fund Limited (The)
17 March 2006


The Value Catalyst Fund Limited ('the Company')

Unaudited Interim Report
For the Period from 1st July, 2005
to 31st December, 2005



Investment Manager's Report

We are very pleased to report that in the six months ended 31st December, 2005
The Value Catalyst Fund Ltd's Net Asset Value('NAV') increased by 8.37%
(dividends reinvested). In comparison, over the same period, the Company's
benchmark calculated with 50% exposure to stock markets, returned 8.53%. This
also compares with a return of 5.47% for the FTSE (in $ terms), 10.47% for the
GDDUWI Developed Index and 4.78% for the S&P.

For the period from inception to 31st December, 2005 the NAV has increased by
109.71% (dividends reinvested) as compared to returns of 15.42% for the
Benchmark, 1.03% for the FTSE (in $ terms), 1.53% for the GDDUWI Developed Index
and a fall of 14.18% for the S&P.

The first half of the year has seen your Company list on AIM in December and it
is worth briefly explaining why it is hoped this will have a useful impact.
Previously your Company was listed in Dublin but other than for the professional
investor it was still difficult to trade in the Company's shares. Hopefully the
AIM market will improve that. In addition, there has also been a change that
allows bids for investment trusts to occur on a formula basis. This means that a
bid can be made at a set discount, of say 5%, rather than previously having to
set a fixed cash price. The problem of a fixed cash price meant that during the
bid timetable the stock market could move, making the bid either cheap so that
it would not be accepted or worse, too good so that the trust would then be
bought at a premium. We have no particular targets in our sights at present, but
it is certainly something we will consider if we see an opportunity.

There continues to be substantial activity in the closed end fund sector with
re-organisations taking on many forms. The Gartmore Growth Opportunities Fund
has re-organized into a particularly innovative hybrid structure that allows for
regular subscriptions and redemptions and we would not be surprised to see more
along these lines. Foreign & Colonial, the grandfather of the investment trust
sector, has announced that it intends to keep its discount to no wider than 10%
and will buy back stock to achieve it.

As a taste of things to come, it is worth noting that over the last eighteen
months there have been a significant number of new issues in the closed end fund
sector around the world. In the US there has been many large high income and
debt funds launched, in the UK the property funds have led the way (in advance
of the proposed introduction of Real Estate Investment Trusts) and in China the
domestic closed end fund industry has learnt that discounts can be substantial,
up to 50%! Such new issues helped to expand the universe of potential future
investment opportunities for the Company and the closed end fund sector
continues to grow each year despite (or perhaps even assisted by) arbitrage
activity and re-organisations.

Outside the closed end fund sector we have continued to be active with public
stakes such as Wyevale. We cannot send a report to shareholders without some
mention of this. While it is covered in more detail below it is worth noting
that this has really been a story of different approaches to shareholding; where
traditional institutions have helped encourage changes to management but have
really left the board to decide who the candidates should be as compared to
institutions who are performance incentivised, who have demanded that the
changes result in better qualified and better suited candidates, than those
proposed by the board. The insistence on demanding the very best candidates has
come out of the private equity sector, who operate by finding the very best
people to run a business. Boards of listed companies have sometimes been happier
with a lower hurdle and the traditional model is for City institutions to
support the board in whatever candidates they choose.

It is no surprise that with the growth of hedge funds and managers who receive
performance fees, which includes the private equity sector, that there will
continue to be a greater demand on sourcing new CEO's and chairman of the
highest quality for listed companies. This is in fact a must if the listed
sector is to compete with the private equity sector. The growth of hedge funds
is likely to see this trend continue.

Outlined in more detail below are some of the transactions we have been involved
in recently:

Absolute Private Equity AG (APE)
APE is a Swiss domiciled fund whose principal activity is to gain exposure to
private equity funds via investment through its subsidiaries. In December 2005
APE launched a public bid for Absolute Managers AG. Absolute Managers, another
Swiss domiciled fund, invests predominately in early stage hedge fund managers.
The bid was made at around a 6% discount to NAV and whilst the result is yet to
be made public, it is understood that 95% plus of the shares of Absolute
Managers AG have been tendered.

The successful completion of the bid will mean that shareholders of APE will
deliver an NAV uplift of approx. 3% on becoming part of the Absolute family.
Further consolidation is expected via two other vehicles. Laxey Partners is
fully supportive of the proactive measures designed to increase shareholder
value and will continue to use its influence to encourage further consolidation.

As at the 31st December, 2005 your Company had a 0.83% economic interest in APE,
worth $5,660,427, which was 2.65% of the Company's NAV.

Mach Hitech
Mach Hitech is a Swiss Stock Exchange listed fund, that invests in high growth
companies in the technology sector. With the encouragement and support of Laxey
Partners, Mach Hitech has developed a strategy to realise its portfolio and
distribute the assets back to shareholders. So far it has successfully divested
its 18% stake in a small Norwegian data recovery company called Ibas ASA; sold
to Kroll Inc, a risk consultancy. The disposal of Ibas ASA represents a
significant shift in the style of the Mach Hitech board in addressing the
discount at which its shares trade. In keeping with a more activist investor
approach to its major holdings, Mach Hitech has announced its intention to seek
approval at the next AGM for a share buy-back program to cancel 10% of the
outstanding shares in issue. The portfolio looks very interesting to us and we
believe there is substantial value to emerge over the next twelve months.

As at the 31st December, 2005 your Company had a 10.1% economic interest in Mach
Hitech, worth $7,374,022.93, which was 3.45% of the Company's NAV.

Invesco English & International Trust PLC (IEI)
Invesco English and International Trust PLC is a closed-end fund incorporated in
the UK. The fund's aim is to achieve long-term capital growth by investing in
quoted UK smaller companies.

Following a series of meetings between Laxey Partners, IEI and its advisors, IEI
announced measures to address the discount at which IEI's shares had been
trading relative to NAV and to allow investors to redeem all or part of their
shareholding on a quarterly basis.

IEI levied a 4% exit charge against those shareholders who chose to exit at the
first and/or second quarterly tender and will levy an exit charge of 3% at the
Q3 tender and then a charge of 2% at the Q4 tender and thereafter. The scheme
also included a 'record date' feature at Laxey Partners' suggestion. At the time
of IEI's announcement, Laxey Partners was praised, by the FT amongst others, for
encouraging investment trusts such as IEI to adopt quasi open end fund
characteristics as a means of managing discounts over the medium and long term.
We participated in the first tender (on the 17th January, 2006) and redeemed 92%
of the Company's holding at approximately 96% of NAV. IEI's discount now stands
at around 11% with debt marked to market.

As at the 31st December, 2005 your Company had a 5.69% economic interest in IEI,
worth $20,692,237.82, which was 9.68% of the Company's NAV.

Genesis Chile Fund Limited (Genesis Chile)
On the 29th June, 2005 Genesis Chile announced details of its proposed
liquidation. Shareholders were allowed to elect for an in specie redemption or a
standard liquidation leading to a cash payout. Laxey Partners elected for the in
specie redemption so as to manage the liquidation of the underlying portfolio.
Your Company received the in specie stock in late December 2005 and has sold the
vast majority of its holdings This was a long running battle which we expected
would end with an in specie redemption, an outcome we are very pleased with.

As at the 15th December, 2005 (before the in specie redemption) your Company had
a 7.01% economic interest in GCF worth $42,811,131.00, which was 20.02% of the
Company's NAV.

Wyevale Garden Centres PLC (Wyevale)
Wyevale Garden Centres PLC consists of over 100 garden centres with substantial
freehold property. It is the largest Garden Centre chain in the United Kingdom.

Due to the UK Companies Acts and the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers, we are
limited by what we may report on Wyevale. However, we can report that following
an EGM called by Laxey Partners on the 22nd of December, 2005 David Williams was
removed from the office of Chairman and Robert Ware was appointed to the Wyevale
board as a non-executive director. As has been reported in the press we have now
sold our holding in Wyevale at 555p to West Coast Capital Ltd, a company run by
Tom Hunter who has indicated that he is likely to bid for the whole company.

This has been a classic investment for us. We originally undertook a valuation
of all the freehold properties and all local planning applications in the
estate. The company's accounts had no current valuation of its properties and so
did not give a true picture of the value. The company subsequently undertook the
same exercise for itself! After realising that there was a substantial upside
possible in the company improving its retail sales per square foot and that the
price was more than underpinned by property prices, we built a stake. We did not
support the election of David Williams as the new chairman as although we think
he is a capable and pleasant individual, we felt he was not the right man for
the job. Two EGM's later he was replaced and Robert Ware was elected to the
board. We had many approaches for the business, which as a shareholder tends to
be a good sign and we eventually sold our stake to Tom Hunter whose retail
experience is what the company needs.

As at the 31st December, 2005 your Company had a 7.07% economic interest in WGC,
worth $32,316,994.71, which was 15.11% of the Company's NAV.

Falcon Investment Trust PLC (Falcon)
Falcon Investment Trust PLC is a UK incorporated closed-end fund. The fund aims
to achieve capital returns in excess of its benchmark (the Hoare Govett Smaller
Companies Index, ex Investment Companies) from investment in UK companies with a
market cap between of £75m and £1bn.

In a move that was remarkably similar to Invesco English & International Trust
PLC and following a growing trend in the investment trust sector of implementing
discount containment measures, shareholders of this investment trust approved a
number of changes to its structure. Namely that investors be permitted on a
pro-rata basis to make an initial redemption request for part or all of their
shareholding up to a total of 20% of the company's share capital and thereafter
up a total of 10%, at quarterly intervals. In fact, of course the similarity was
due to Laxey Partners being heavily involved and the scheme was proposed again
after a series of multi-party meetings. Shareholders, including your Company,
should be able to tender their holding at around 98% of NAV, excluding costs.

As at the 31st December, 2005 your Company had a 5.96% economic interest in
Falcon, worth $3,837,202.35, which was 1.79% of the Company's NAV.

Finsbury Technology Trust PLC (Finsbury)
Finsbury Technology Trust PLC is a UK investment trust. Its aim is to achieve
long-term capital growth via investment in quoted technology companies
worldwide. Again after extensive consultation with and encouragement from Laxey
Partners, the company took the opportunity to propose an active discount
management containment policy when it announced details of its continuation vote
in November, 2005. Following the announcement, your Company sold its stake to a
mix of new shareholders and the company itself at a 7.5% discount to NAV.

Prior to divesting its stake, your Company had a 5.17% economic interest
Finsbury, worth $5,312,340.62, which was 2.75% of the Company's NAV.

Taiwan Greater China Fund (TCF)
Taiwan Greater China Fund, invests in Taiwan Stock Exchange traded companies
which obtain or are expected to obtain a considerable portion of their revenue
from exports to or operations in mainland China. At the first of the fund's semi
annual 10% tenders on 16th December, 2005 approximately 55% of the outstanding
shares in issue were tendered. Consequently, tender requests were met on a
pro-rata basis. Your Company tendered approximately 18% of its holding at 98% of
NAV excluding costs.

As at the 31st December, 2005 your Company had a 1.59% economic interest in TCF,
worth $1,659,313.92, which was 0.78% of the Company's NAV.

Freeport PLC
Freeport PLC developed and operated factory outlet shopping and leisure sites in
the UK and, after broadening its mandate in 2005, now does so on mainland
Europe; the Freeport designer outlet in Portugal is Europe's largest designer
outlet.

In 2005 Freeport also proposed that shareholders approve the transfer of its
business off-shore through incorporation in Jersey and a move in headquarters to
Monaco, to be voted upon at the Freeport EGM in November, 2005.

Shareholders, including Laxey Partners and The Association of British Insurers
(ABI), objected to the proposed move. Michael McKersie, ABI's investment affairs
manager was quoted by the FT on the 19th November, 2005 as saying 'Past
corporate governance concerns around the company have made shareholders more
wary than they would otherwise have been.'

Such wariness may be justified given that shareholders had to ask to be shown
the company's new articles of association ahead of the AGM. In an earlier draft
of the new articles there was no provision for executives to require regular
re-election or for shareholders to approve remuneration reports. Entities
incorporated in Jersey as opposed to the UK enjoy more power over shareholders
and more lenient reporting standards. For example, for shareholders to block a
special resolution proposed by the board of a Jersey incorporated entity 33 1/3% 
of shareholder votes cast are required. The percentage to block falls to 25% 
for a UK incorporated company.

At the November EGM Laxey Partners asked for more time to consider the Freeport
proposals. Our request was granted and a second EGM was convened one week later
on the 7th December, 2005. 34% of the votes cast at the second EGM blocked
Freeport's proposed reorganisation. Furthermore, the executive chairman of
Freeport agreed to split his position into the roles of chief executive and
chairman and then step down once a successor was found. This is still ongoing
and we hope to be able to report further progress by the year end.

As at the 31st December, 2005 your Company had a 4.35% economic interest in
Freeport, worth $13,369,461.91, which was 6.25% of the Company's NAV.

Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust PLC (F&C)
'Formed in 1868, Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust was a real innovation. Its
objective was 'to give the investor of moderate means the same advantages as the
large capitalists in diminishing the risk of spreading the investment over a
number of stocks. As well as being the oldest investment trust, it is now also
the largest global growth investment trust in the world.'

Source: F&C web-site

In its 2004 annual report, the board of F&C announced changes to the fund
management arrangements as well as a move to a multi-manager approach with some
geographical segments of the business being farmed out to managers outside the F
&C group.

The old lady was waking up but was not perhaps quite 'with it' as a quote from
the Chairman on discounts shows:

'History shows that discounts have moved up and down over periods of time, and
we do not believe it is possible to control tightly the absolute or relative
level of the discount, given the cyclicality of demand for investment trust
shares. Over the last 10 years our shares have traded between a premium of 2%
and a discount of nearly 20%. Last year the discount started at 12.4%, widened
out to 19.5% and ended at 15.9%, while currently it stands at 15.5% or 13.7%
using the market valuation for our long-term borrowings. Some see a discount as
an advantage because you can buy assets more cheaply, while others, particularly
our existing shareholders and potential investors, are concerned that the value
of their investment can fluctuate through the volatility of the discount and
does not reflect the underlying value of the assets. Ultimately, it is net asset
value performance and income growth that influences the share price, which in
turn affects the level of discount.'

However, on the 2nd November, 2005 F&C announced a 'new buyback policy to
benefit shareholders'. The board confessed to having been 'concerned about the
size and volatility of the discount to NAV' and announced that 'the overriding
aim of the Company's buyback programme will be to prevent the discount to NAV
from rising above 10%'

Following this volte-face we believe that the investment trust world will never
be quite the same again. Fortunately, the world's stock brokers and fund
promoters don't seem to shy away from using the closed-end structure for stock
issuance in whichever area is currently most in vogue but which inevitably falls
out of favour providing us with fresh opportunity.

As at the 31st December, 2005 your Company had a 0.24% economic interest in F&C,
worth $8,628,721.63, which was 4.03% of the Company's NAV.

European Assets Trust NV (European Assets)
A closed-end fund incorporated in the Netherlands, European Assets invests in
medium sized companies in Europe, excluding the UK. This fund, which
interestingly is also run by the F&C group, had already adopted an enhanced
dividend policy designed to return cash to shareholders without triggering
liabilities under the Dutch tax code.

In addition, it was due to face a form of continuation vote before the end of
June 2006. The vote was brought forward with an EGM in October 2005. The fund
also used the EGM to propose a share buy-back policy for up to 10% of the
outstanding shares in issue in any three month period. With the risk of a
substantial discount emerging eliminated and an opportunity for shareholders to
exit, the continuation vote was passed. Your Company used the new buy-back
policy to realise its holding at a 5% discount to NAV.

Prior to divesting its stake on the 20th December 2005 your Company had a 2.52%
economic interest in European Assets, worth $5,795,838.64, which was 2.95% of
the Company's NAV.

Laxey Partners Limited


Statement of Total Return (Unaudited)
For the period from 1st July, 2005 to 31st December, 2005


                                             Note          2005           2004
                                                            US$            US$
Income
Dividends                                             5,486,242      2,021,392
Interest                                                464,228        128,587

Net realised gains/(losses) on realisation
of financial assets and liabilities at fair          41,245,942    (13,479,758)
value through the profit and loss

Net unrealised (losses)/gains on financial
assets and liabilities other than currency
forwards at fair value through the profit
and loss                                            (18,062,042)    40,354,706

Net unrealised losses on currency forwards at        (4,206,807)    (8,669,056)
fair value through the profit and loss

Other income                                                  -         35,476
                                                      ---------      ---------
Total income                                         24,927,563     20,391,347
                                                      ---------      ---------

Expenses
Dividends payable on short positions                    731,919        299,564
Investment management fee                             2,633,316      2,212,820
Performance fee                                       1,136,900        594,742
Administration fee                                      173,756        139,585
Audit fees                                               15,976         13,883
Directors' fees                                          36,566         25,000
Other expenses                                 7        664,132        626,189
Interest expense                                      4,206,771      2,111,446
                                                      ---------      ---------
Total expenses                                        9,599,336      6,023,229
                                                      ---------      ---------

Operating profit                                     15,328,227     14,368,118
Dividend                                       6     (4,899,538)    (2,599,546)
                                                      ---------      ---------
Increase in net assets attributable to holders       10,428,689     11,768,572
of ordinary shares from operations                    =========      =========

Earnings per ordinary share
Basic and fully diluted                                US$13.74       US$13.24
                                                      =========      =========


Balance Sheet (Unaudited)
As at 31st December, 2005



                                   31st December,     30th June,  31st December,
                                           2005           2005            2004
                                            US$            US$             US$
Assets
Investment funds - long             164,159,053    184,607,885     213,354,529
Investment funds - long swaps         1,981,540         24,005         904,926
Equities - long                     210,844,228    126,705,828     132,123,138
Equities - long swaps                    21,301         96,368          15,867
Equities - warrants                     342,368        369,657          82,340
Index swaps - long                            -         33,475               -
Futures - long                           34,785          9,119               -
Futures - short                         408,280        217,201          56,209
Amounts receivable on currency
forwards                              5,765,381      9,043,418       1,917,080
Cash at bank and brokers             13,362,190      1,286,644         483,659
Cash held as margin at brokers       20,980,363     20,416,083      21,791,762
Amounts due from outstanding sale
settlements                           8,298,908      1,743,606       1,014,332
Other debtors and accrued income      3,042,694        248,625         839,000
                                     ----------      ---------    ------------
Total assets                        429,241,091    344,801,914     372,582,842
                                      ---------      ---------    ------------

Liabilities
Investment funds - short              5,091,404      7,337,686       8,878,844
Investment funds - short swaps           95,498         42,262               -
Investment funds - long swaps                 -        485,545               -
Equities - long swaps                   165,800         45,630           1,224
Equities - short                     25,525,377     27,454,381      17,555,005
Equities - short swaps                   84,462              -               -
Index swaps - short                     504,006        671,077       2,463,521
Futures - short                         980,911        562,737       1,306,121
Amounts payable on currency
forwards                              2,448,648      1,519,878      11,719,616
Overdrawn balances at brokers       175,665,145    119,346,722     166,469,922
Amounts due for outstanding
purchase settlements                    683,194      1,893,417       1,288,740
Other creditors and accrued
expenses                              4,126,863      6,389,664       2,888,058
                                     ----------      ---------    ------------
Total liabilities (excluding net
assets attributable to holders of
redeemable shares)                  215,371,308    165,748,999     212,571,051
                                     ----------      ---------    ------------

Net assets (excluding net assets
attributable to holders of
ordinary shares)                    213,869,783    179,052,915     160,011,791
                                     ==========      =========    ============
Net assets attributable to
holders of ordinary shares          213,869,683    179,052,815     160,011,691
Net assets attributable to
holders of founder shares                   100            100             100
                                     ----------      ---------    ------------
                                    213,869,783    179,052,915     160,011,791
                                     ==========      =========    ============
Net asset value per ordinary          US$174.19      US$164.81       US$147.29
share                                ==========      =========    ============


Statement of Changes in Net Assets Attributable to Holders of Ordinary Shares
(Unaudited)
For the period from 1st July, 2005 to 31st December, 2005

                                                   2005                  2004
                                                  Total                 Total
                                                    US$                   US$

Balance at 1st July                         179,052,815           147,819,269

Operating profit                             15,328,227            14,368,118

Dividend                                     (4,899,538)           (2,599,546)

Issue of ordinary shares                     24,388,179               423,850
                                            -----------             ---------
Balance at 31st December                    213,869,683           160,011,691
                                            ===========             =========


Cash Flow Statement (Unaudited)
For the period from 1st July, 2005 to 31st December, 2005

                                                           2005            2004
                                                            US$             US$

Operating activities
Net gain arising from operations                     15,328,227      14,368,118
Adjustments:
Net realised (gain)/loss on investments             (41,245,942)     13,479,758
Net movement in unrealised depreciation/
(appreciation) on:
           - investments                             18,062,042     (40,354,706)
           - currency forwards                        4,206,807       8,669,056
(Increase)/decrease in debtors                       (2,794,069)      1,045,050
(Decrease) in creditors                              (2,262,801)     (1,211,437)
                                                      ---------       ---------
Net cash outflow from operating activities           (8,705,736)     (4,004,161)
                                                      ---------       ---------

Investing activities
Purchase of investments                            (235,969,523)   (182,213,027)
Sale of investments                                 177,364,594     107,668,409
Increase in cash held as margin                        (564,280)     (7,076,946)
                                                     ----------      ----------
Net cash outflow from investing activities          (59,169,209)    (81,621,564)
                                                     ----------      ----------
Financing activities
Dividend paid                                          (756,111)     (2,175,696)
Issue of shares                                      24,388,179               -
                                                     ----------      ----------
Net cash outflow from financing activities           23,632,068      (2,175,696)
                                                     ----------      ----------

Decrease in cash and cash equivalents               (44,242,877)    (87,801,421)
                                                     ==========      ==========

Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of
the period                                         (118,060,078)    (78,184,842)
                                                    ----------      ----------
Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the
period                                             (162,302,955)   (165,986,263)
                                                     ==========      ==========

Notes to the Financial Statements (Unaudited)
For the period from 1st July, 2005 to 31st December, 2005

1. Accounting policy
The financial statements have been prepared in accordance with the historical
cost convention as modified by the revaluation of investments, and in accordance
with International Financial Reporting Standards.


Comparative figures
The comparative figures shown in the Statement of Total Return, the Statement of
Changes in Shareholders' Funds and the Cash Flow Statement relate to the
corresponding interim period for the preceding financial year, 1st July, 2004 to
31st December, 2004.

2. Investment
                        31st December,          30th June,        31st December,
                                2005                2005                  2004
                                 US$                 US$                   US$
Long positions:
Market value             377,217,475         311,281,687           346,479,576
                         ===========         ===========           ===========

Cost                     328,889,451         246,032,508           263,235,217
                         ===========         ===========           ===========

Short positions:
Market value             (31,873,378)        (35,817,467)          (30,147,282)
                         ===========         ===========           ===========
Proceeds                 (26,230,977)        (31,315,953)          (21,351,489)
                         ===========         ===========           ===========


All of the Company's investments are classified as held for trading.

3. Issued Share capital

                                               Period ended        Period ended
                                             31st December,      31st December,
                                                     2005                2004
                                                      US$                 US$
Ordinary shares of US$0.001 each
At 1st July                                         1,086               1,083
Issued during period                                  141                   3
                                             ------------      --------------
At 31st December                                    1,227               1,086
                                             ------------      --------------

Founder shares of US$1 each
At 31st December                                      100                 100
                                             ------------      --------------
Total issued share capital                          1,327               1,186
                                             ============      ==============




                                              Period ended          Period ended
                                            31st December,        31st December,
                                                    2005                  2004
                                                    Number                Number
Number of ordinary shares
At 1st July                                    1,086,372             1,083,144
Issued during period                             141,417                 3,228
                                           -------------        --------------
At 31st December                               1,227,789             1,086,372
                                           =============        ==============

Number of founder shares
At 31st December                                     100                   100
                                          ==============        ==============


4 Share Premium

                                           Period ended             Period ended
                                         31st December,           31st December,
                                                 2005                     2004
                                                  US$                      US$

At 1st July                               110,683,952              110,260,105
Relating to issues                         24,388,038                  423,847
                                       --------------             ------------
At 31st December                          135,071,990              110,683,952
                                       ==============             ============


5. Retained Earnings

                                         Period ended             Period ended
                                        31st December,           31st December,
                                                 2005                     2004
                                                  US$                      US$

At 1st July                               68,367,777                37,558,081
Operating profit for the period           15,328,227                14,368,118
Dividend                                  (4,899,538)               (2,599,546)
                                       -------------              ------------
At 31st December                          78,796,466                49,326,653
                                       =============              ============

6. Dividend
                                                                         Total
2005 Dividend (in respect of year ended 30th June, 2005)                   US$
Paid 30th September, 2005
Dividend of US$4.51 per ordinary share                               4,899,538
                                                                   ===========

                                                                         Total
2004 Dividend (in respect of year ended 30th June, 2004)                   US$
Paid 25th September, 2004
Dividend of US$2.40 per ordinary share                               2,599,546
                                                                   ===========
7. Other Expenses

                                               Period ended         Period ended
                                             31st December,       31st December,
                                                     2005                 2004
                                                      US$                  US$

Legal and professional fees                       522,795              527,714
Insurance                                          71,497               61,504
Miscellaneous expenses                             69,840               36,971
                                            -------------          -----------
                                                  664,132              626,189
                                            =============          ===========

8. Copies of the interim statement

Copies of the interim statement will be sent to shareholders. Further copies
will be available from HSBC Securities Services (Isle of Man) Limited, 12-13
Hill Street, Douglas, Isle of Man IM1 1EF.







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