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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Merk Rolls Out Institutional Shares

Reported by Armie Margaret Lee

Merk Investments has rolled out Institutional share classes for its three currency mutual funds. Executives at the Palo, Alto-based firm said the addition of the share class, which took effect April 1, was in response to demand from investment advisors.

"Investment advisers have been calling on us to offer an institutional version of the Merk Mutual Funds," said Axel Merk, president and CIO.

The Institutional class shares are available through Schwab, Fidelity, TD Ameritrade and directly from Merk.

Merk has more than $550 million of AUM across its three fund offerings, Merk Hard Currency, Asian Currency and Absolute Return Currency funds.
Company Press Release

PALO ALTO, CA. – April 6, 2010 – Merk Investments LLC, manager of Merk Mutual Funds, announces the launch of a new institutional share class for its three currency mutual funds as of April 1, 2010: the Merk Hard Currency Fund (MHCIX), the Merk Asian Currency Fund (MASIX), and the Merk Absolute Return Currency Fund (MAAIX).

“Investment advisers have been calling on us to offer an institutional version of the Merk Mutual Funds. Through the Funds, we offer true diversification into currency as an asset class with the ease of investing in a mutual fund. We have expanded our leadership as we have become the largest mutual fund company focusing exclusively on currencies.” said Axel Merk, president and CIO of Merk Investments.

Merk's Institutional Class shares eliminate the 12b-1 fee that is part of the Investor Class shares. A minimum investment of $250,000 is required that may be aggregated across advisory client accounts. Initially, the Institutional Class shares are available through Schwab, Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, as well as directly from Merk.

In 2005, Merk launched its first currency fund, the Merk Hard Currency Fund (MERKX), with only $1million in assets. Merk, the Authority on Currencies™, has recorded substantial asset growth each year, including over 35% growth in assets under management during the crisis year of 2008. Merk now manages over $550 million in three currency mutual funds.

“The currency asset class boasts low correlations to other asset classes and potential profit opportunities resulting from market inefficiencies and macroeconomic trends,” Merk continues. “Additionally, the currency asset class exhibits low levels of volatility and high liquidity relative to other assets, such as equities and fixed income. Through the Funds, we are offering advisers unique opportunities to add managed currency exposure to their clients’ portfolios,” concludes Mr. Merk.

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