Toronto, November 15, 2004 - First Asset Funds Inc. is pleased to announce the closing today of the initial public offering of 11.5 million units of First Asset Equal Weight REIT Income Fund (TSX:RIT.UN) (the "Fund"), the maximum offering size exclusive of the over-allotment option. The Fund has granted the agents for the offering an over-allotment option to acquire up to an additional 1.725 million units which is exercisable at any time during the next 30 days. The units are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange ("TSX") under the symbol RIT.UN.
The Fund is designed to provide unitholders with high levels of tax efficient monthly cash distributions by investing in an equally weighted diversified portfolio of real estate income trusts ("REITs") using a passive investment approach and to provide the benefit of low management fees of 0.45%.
The Fund's portfolio will be comprised of an approximate equal dollar amount of securities of each REIT listed on the TSX that pays a regular distribution and that has a market capitalization of at least $300 million at the time of investment. The portfolio will be rebalanced annually to adjust for changes in market capitalizations, to add newly qualified REITs and to remove those REITs that cease to qualify under the Fund's investment guidelines. As at October 25, 2004, there were 19 qualifying REITs. As a result of the equal weight approach, each REIT would constitute approximately 5.3% of the portfolio.
First Asset Funds Inc., the manager of the Fund, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Asset Management Inc. ("First Asset"). First Asset is an integrated wealth management company that has acquired top tier investment management firms in Canada, rapidly growing to become a leading Canadian asset management company with approximately $26.5 billion in assets under management or administration as at September 30, 2004.
The syndicate of agents for this offering was led by CIBC World Markets Inc. and RBC Dominion Securities Inc., and included BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc., TD Securities Inc., National Bank Financial Inc., Scotia Capital Inc., HSBC Securities (Canada) Inc., Canaccord Capital Corporation, Desjardins Securities Inc., Dundee Securities Corporation, First Associates Investments Inc., Raymond James Ltd. and Wellington West Capital Inc.
For further information, please contact Tanya Carey at First Asset Funds Inc. at (416) 642-1289 or 1-877-642-1289.