Morgan's fallen stars bottom of class

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The Independent Online
The once top performing funds run by Morgan Grenfell are languishing at the bottom of the league tables after the Peter Young affair, despite receiving a pounds 180m cash injection by Deutsche, the German bank that owns the fund management group.

At the start of September, Morgan Grenfell suspended trading for three days in the three star funds in which 90,000 people had invested pounds 1.4bn. Investors in the funds - Europa, European Growth and European Capital Growth - have since redeemed at least pounds 180m of their holdings.

The Europa fund, managed by Stewart Armer, who is not directly implicated in the scandal but who had made similar investments in high-technology stocks like Mr Young, was the top performing fund in its sector until the start of the year.

However, it is now ranked 127th out of the 130 similar funds tracked by Micropal, the company that measures the performance of funds.

The value of Europa has fallen 9.74 per since 9 September, the start of the first full week of trading after the dealing suspension was lifted.

The value of the European Growth Fund, managed by Mr Young, fell 6.41 per cent over the same period, putting it in 110th place.

Until the start of the year it was the sector's second most successful fund.

The performance record of the other fund formerly managed by Mr Young, European Capital Growth, is not available from Micropal.

However, the Miropal data shows that the European unit trust sector as a whole performed poorly over the period, falling 4.42 per cent.

Peter Jeffreys, managing director of Fund Research, an independent company that monitors the industry, said the weakness in the European sector could largely be explained by the strength of sterling in recent weeks.

Deutsche has pledged to compensate any investors who have lost out because of the actions of Mr Young, who is now under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office. Investigators allege Mr Young set up a series of shell firms in which his funds had invested and also breached limits on the amount of unlisted securities which unit trusts are allowed to buy.

Imro, the investment regulator, is working on the complex calculations that will determine whether, and how much, compensation is due.

Separately, Deutsche Bank yesterday bought the 50 per cent stake it did not already own in Ivor Jones, Roy, a South African stockbroker firm. It will rename the broker Deutsche Morgan Grenfell.

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