E Special Fund Report

*Last week Mexican Equity & Income Fund made an offer to buy back its shares at 99% of NAV. It may also convert to an open-end fund. This cut MXE's discount from NAV to 7.5% vs nearly double that for the larger Mexico Fund, MXF. We have preferred MXE for decades because it performed better than MXF, and because, until 2013, it was run by a woman, unusual in macho Mexico, Maria Eugenia Pichardo. She resigned as chair but remains portfolio manager because of a perceived conflict of interest as her Pichardo Asset Management SA de CV also manages money for private clients. So closed-end activist Phillip Goldstein of Bulldog Investors who likes to liquidate funds to make money took over as chair.

*Korea Fund may get a boost after Advisor Shares KIM announced that it will close its Korea Equity

Exchange Traded Funds, KOR, on Oct. 1. Owners will receive cash proceeds Oct. 8. There are 6 other Korea ETFs but closed-end funds are often a better way to lure investors into a single and quirky foreign market, as has been proven by the difficulty faced by ETFs there.

*Vanguard is playing down its Precious Metals & Mining offerings (its open-end fund, VGPMX is being reduced in size by 75% and its manager was let go.) This may be a contrarian signal to gold bugs.


*The big change this past week was that the main Dow-Jones Index caught up with the tech-heavy Nasdaq one.

Our particular gains came mostly from the healthcare sector. Bayer made a milestone payment to Israeli Compugen as another CGEN find moved into the clinic. The cleanup hinted at earlier by US$ 5 mn of insider buying at new pick Bausch Health Cos indeed produced a reduction of debt the Canada firm. Medtronic made a bid for Mazor Robotics shares it doesn't already own.

*Teva surprisingly did get FDA approval of its new quarterly injected migraine prevention drug now labeled Ajovoy, formerly fremanezumabon Sept. 16, a week ago, which helped boost its share price too. Now the Crédit Suisse analyst who covers the Israel drug firm, V. Divan, reports that patients and doctors are very excited about the anti-CGRP migraine drug class. The key specialization TEVA gained is because you only get a jab every 3 months, with a pre-filled syringe rather than an auto-injector. He also points out that during the trials there were high rates of injection site reactions with Ajovoy compared to smaller auto-injector. These worried hit TEVA Friday when it lost 1.9%, falling to $24.36.

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