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The Orion MENA Fund offers exposure to the region’s lucrative financial markets to investors wherever their location or nationality

United Arab Emirates: Wednesday, June 28 - 2006 @ 08:19

The Orion MENA Fund is designed to give investors access to the attractive Middle Eastern and Northern African equity markets.

Swiss Orion Funds AG (SOF) signed Rasmala Investments, an investment company focused on asset management and investment banking, to act as the investment advisor for the Orion MENA fund. Utilizing the expertise of Rasmala, SOF will invest in individual securities and investment funds. Investments are selected based on a proven qualitative and quantitative due diligence and manager selection process. Allocations to each fund/strategy are based on the assessment of market conditions going forward, as well as a quantitative analysis of performance and correlation data, all with the objective of maximizing return. SOF will invest a certain portion of the fund’s assets in non-listed securities such as pre-IPO and/or private equity companies that would thereafter be listed.

Liechtensteinische Landesbank (Schweiz) AG, which is a AAA rated bank with assets exceeding US$ 45billion will act as the custodian of the fund while Deloitte Touche will act as auditor of the fund. Cfo will provide strategy and controlling services to the Fund and its investors in order to insure execution of fund strategy within investment guidelines, to monitor financial activities and to represent shareholder interests.

Mr. Waleid Gamal Eldien, Chief Investment Officer of Orion Holding Overseas said: “Orion Holding Overseas was established to cater for Middle Eastern investors after the significant shift in investment policy for most Arab investors by keeping a portion of their funds in local and regional markets. Middle Eastern investors are now keen to get the international experience from local individuals that would provide them with the required information and the comfort of understanding their needs and background.”

Mr. Gamal Eldien added “At Orion Holding, we believe that no one market in the MENA region alone would be enough or sufficient for investors to provide a wide variety of exceptional investment opportunities. We also believe that the time is ripe to invest in a highly diversified fund when almost all financial markets in the MENA region are trading at very attractive valuations and in some at discounts to their fair valuations due to the massive corrections that took place the past 8 months.”

“Investors started to realize that the concept of proper diversification and placing some of their money with professional fund managers is a proper way to avoid unsystematic or avoidable risk” Mr. Gamal Eldien further added.

The MENA region will continue to be attractive for locals and foreign investors due to high oil prices, liberal economic reforms in various countries to introduce market economies, and empowering the private sector to lead the region.

Mr. Eric Swats, Partner and Head of Asset Management of Rasmala Investments said:

“We are excited to work with SOF on this fund and are confident that it will bring additional great investment opportunities to all investors.”

He added: “Rasmala as the Investment advisor of the Orion MENA Fund will apply its proven risk management process to continuously monitor the fund’s investments, including volatility and correlation with other strategies in the portfolio and factor exposures.”

Mr. Mohamed Aboul AlHaj, Chairman of Orion Holding Overseas stated that “As Sponsor of Orion MENA Fund, Orion Holding Overseas, is committed to the success of the fund either through direct investments by providing seed capital and/or ensuring access to high net worth individuals and institutions through our vast network and partners within the region and globally.” Mr. Aboul AlHaj furthermore commented that “Orion Holding or its subsidiaries are expected to gain additional licenses for business lines such as brokerage, asset management, investment banking within offshore financial centers located in the MENA region to provide extended products and services to investors.”

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Wednesday, June 28- 2006 @ 8:19 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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