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January 10, 2006
New Domini Funds Invest in the World
    by Anne Moore Odell

Domini charts new territory with the creation of the Domini PacAsia Social Equity Fund and the Domini EuroPacific Social Equity Fund.


Following the success of the Domini European Social Equity Fund (ticker: DEUFX ) founded October 2005, Domini Social Investments recently launched two new funds to help socially responsible investors expand their portfolios on the international stage. The Domini PacAsia Social Equity Fund and the Domini EuroPacific Social Equity Fund are the first US SRI mutual funds to focus especially on these areas of the world.

The Domini EuroPacific Social Equity Fund (ticker: DUPFX ) and the Domini PacAsia Social Equity Fund (ticker: DPAFX ) started December 27, 2006, focusing on socially screened diversified mid- to large-cap stocks. Investors will have the opportunity to invest in EuroPacific and PacAsia companies, while at the same time letting these companies know that social and environmental issues must be taken into account.

"International investing represents a great opportunity, and a significant challenge, for people who want their investments to make a difference on a global scale," said Amy Domini, Founder and CEO. "Europe is leading the world in corporate social responsibility and sustainable business models, and we and our shareholders are excited about being a part of that. Meanwhile, dramatic economic growth in Asia has often been accompanied by pollution, deforestation, sweatshop labor, and human rights violations. This is a region where conscious, responsible investing is needed, and can really make a difference."

Dominiís European Social Equity Fund outperformed its benchmark with a total return of 44.3% in the year ending 12/31/06, compared with the MSCI Europe Index return of 34.4%. Domini wants to extend this achievement to other areas of the world.

Adam Kanzer, Dominiís Managing Director and General Counsel explained, "The Domini PacAsia Social Equity Fund covers Asian and Pacific Rim countries, and is benchmarked against the MSCI All Country Asia-Pacific Index. The Domini EuroPacific Social Equity Fund invests in both the European and the Asia-Pacific regions, providing investors with broad, diversified exposure to the international markets in a single fund. Its benchmark is the MSCI EAFE Index."

However, European countries have a long history of environmental and socially responsible business practices that many EuroPacific and Asian companies have not embraced.

"Investors in Dominiís new funds will help influence companies in Asia and the Pacific Rim to take social and environmental concerns into account as they build successful businesses. We expect to have a positive impact, as we already do in the U.S. and Europe, both by applying standards to our investment choices and, when we can, by engaging companies in direct dialogue, encouraging the best practices and challenging the worst," Ms. Domini told SocialFunds.com.

She added that Domini applies consistent standards across the globe. "Wherever we invest, therefore," she explained, "issues such as climate change and child labor will be considered. In countries that have adopted the Kyoto Protocol, we are finding that climate change concerns are more integrated into corporate operations, and data is more easily accessible. In Japan, for example, climate change reporting is mandatory."

With minimum initial investments set at only $2,500 and $1,500 for IRAs, Domini offers opportunities for investors to diversify their portfolios with a global focus. Domini partner Wellington Management submanages Dominiís equity funds, applying its financial standards, seeking to add value through a quantitative stock selection approach and managing risk through portfolio construction.

Dominiís research team includes Steven Lydenberg, Jeff MacDonagh, Shin Furuya (Pacific Asia), Kimberly Gladman (Europe), and Celine Suarez (North America), supported by several research associates. Mr. Lydenberg, Chief Investment Officer, has worked in SRI and CSR arenas since 1975. He was a founding member of KLD Research and Analytics, and has written numerous publications on issues of corporate social responsibility.

It is yet to be seen if Domini PacAsia Social Equity Fund and Domini EuroPacific Social Equity Fund will perform as well as its European fund. In Asiaís emerging markets, there are special risks for investors, such as fluctuating currencies, and political and social unrest.

"Like our European fund, these new funds can help investors gain exposure to expanding economies around the world," said Ms. Domini. "The Domini PacAsia Social Equity Fund builds out our successful regional fund structure, while the Domini EuroPacific Social Equity Fund offers a one-fund solution for social investors seeking broad international diversification."

 

 
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