New Canadian Index Funds –Part One

January 01, 1999

Altamira Investment Services became yet another of the growing number of Canadian investment companies to offer its own series of index funds when it released its Precision family of funds on Nov. 9, 1998.

Index funds are becoming increasingly popular in Canada, though they're not yet as popular as in the US, Brian Smith, Vice President of Risk Management at Altamira said.

The Precision US RSP Index Fund tracks Standard & Poor's 500 Index, while the Precision International RSP Index Fund tracks the MSCI-EAFE Index. Both are structured so that investors can increase their foreign holdings without exceeding Canada's 20% cap on foreign investments in registered savings plans (RSPs).

 The Precision Canadian Index originally targeted the TSE 100 at its November launch date, but now tracks the S&P/TSE 60, which was released at the start of 1999.

"We were comfortable with the performance data and the characteristics of the companies" in the S&P/TSE 60, Smith said. Because it is so new, there are not yet many index funds available that track the index, he added. (See also the story on p. 56 concerning Dow Jones Indexes' new Extra Liquid Canada Index.)

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