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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Calvert Seeks Global Opportunities

News summary by MFWire's editors

Calvert has launched a new fund that seeks long term capital appreciation through investment in a broad universe of non-U.S. small-cap and mid-cap stocks both in developed countries and emerging markets. London-based F&C Management Limited will subadvise the new offering, called Calvert International Opportunities Fund.

Today, Calvert, one of the leaders in the field of socially responsible investing and research, launched the Calvert International Opportunities Fund (Ticker: CIOAX: Class A shares). The Fund seeks long term capital appreciation through investment primarily in a broad universe of non-U.S. small-cap and mid-cap stocks both in the developed countries and emerging markets that meet the Fund's financial and environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria. This latest offering expands Calvert's existing equity product line and international offerings across multiple capitalization ranges.

Steve Falci, Calvert's Chief Investment Officer, Equities said: "There are exciting opportunities in small- and mid-cap growth stocks around the world and we are responding to the demand from investors, advisors, and institutions who want to tap into them. This new Fund is a natural fit with our existing large-cap international stock fund, the Calvert World Values International Equity Fund. With the new fund, Calvert retail and institutional investors can now more fully diversify their international stock allocations across market capitalization ranges."

London based F&C Management Limited has been appointed sub-advisor to the Fund. F&C Management Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of F&C Asset Management plc, a global asset management firm established in 1868. The F&C group is one of the oldest and largest asset managers in the U.K. with more than $200 billion under management (as of 12/31/06). The F&C group is a leader in the European socially responsible investing (SRI) market, having launched the first-ever SRI mutual fund in Europe in 1984.

Sophie Horsfall, Director and Portfolio Manager in the F&C Global Equities Team and Lead Portfolio Manager to the Fund, said: "We are delighted to have been appointed as sub-advisor for the Calvert International Opportunities Fund. F&C, as a leader in sustainable investing in Europe, has values and a commitment to excellence that are very complementary to those of Calvert. We have been identifying outstanding socially responsible investment opportunities among non-U.S. smaller- and medium-sized companies for over two decades -- and look forward to applying this knowledge and experience in identifying the best investments for this Fund."

The investment strategy for the Calvert International Opportunities Fund begins with a top-down macro economic and strategic overview of the global economy and its regional impact, including emerging markets, to establish a desired asset allocation and determine target sector weightings. The sub- advisor primarily uses rigorous bottom-up research analyzing the outlook for any particular stock being considered, including the degree to which F&C's analytical findings have already been discounted by the market. In particular, the aim is to uncover information or derive conclusions that are not known to the wider marketplace.

The Fund primarily invests in the common stocks of non-U.S. small- and mid-cap companies, whose market capitalization is within the range of the Citigroup/S&P World EX-U.S. EMI Index, which was $500 million to $20 to $30 billion as of December 31, 2006. While the Fund will primarily invest in developed countries, the Fund's managers may purchase securities in any geographic region of the world if they deem the company suitably attractive, with an investment ceiling of up to 20% in emerging markets. Investment returns will be mostly from changes in the price of the Fund's holdings (capital appreciation). The Fund will employ a disciplined approach to stock selection focused on fundamental analysis of individual small- and mid-cap stocks across all geographic regions.

With 14 in-house analysts, Calvert is a U.S. leader in corporate environmental, social, and governance research. The F&C group is a leader in the European SRI market. For Calvert, the new Fund presents investors with an unprecedented opportunity to tap into sustainable investment opportunities in the small-to mid-cap arena.

About Calvert

Calvert is one of the nation's largest socially responsible mutual fund firms with approximately $15 billion in assets under management. Calvert offers forty-two funds that allow individual and institutional investors to pursue a broad range of investment objectives within a single fund family. Calvert launched the Calvert Social Index(R), a benchmark for measuring the performance of large, U.S.-based socially responsible companies. In addition to its equity funds, Calvert has an extensive lineup of tax-free and taxable fixed income investments. For more information on Calvert, click on http://www.calvert.com/.  

Edited by: Erin Kello

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