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Press Release:
Merk Investments’ Axel Merk to Speak on Development of Effective Capital Markets at Shenyang Summit

-- Merk Hard Currency Fund Manager to Moderate Panel at China International Economic Forum --

PALO ALTO, Calif. — September 12, 2005 — Axel Merk, President of Merk Investments and Manager of the Merk Hard Currency Fund, will moderate an interactive panel session on “Liberalization of Banking Systems and Development of Effective Capital Markets” at the China international economic forum, the Shenyang Summit.

The panel discussion will cover questions including:

  • How will current foreign exchange regulations impact China’s growth?
  • What does liberalization of the Chinese banking system mean for the floatability of the Renminbi?
  • What are the most pressing needs for banking reform?

Location:
Shenyang Marriott Hotel
388 Qingnian Avenue
Heping District
Shenyang 110003
Liaoning
China

Time:
Thursday, September 15, 2005 from 5:15PM to 6:30PM (UTC+8)

About the Shenyang Summit
The Shenyang Summit (14 -16 September 2005) is the major event for international leaders committed to realizing China's burgeoning business opportunities.

This top-level event invites leaders from China, Europe, the Americas and other world regions. The Shenyang Summit will address the opportunities and challenges that are appearing as China emerges as a new economic power: How can global leaders utilize the new opportunities? What are the comparative/competitive advantages of the different regions? What can we learn from China’s transformation into a market economy? How can China's growth be combined with corporate social responsibility? What role does corporate governance have to play? And what specific business opportunities can be found in the Northeastern region of China?
For more information on the Shenyang Summit, please visit www.shenyang-summit.com.

About Axel Merk, President, Merk Investments
Axel Merk, president of Merk Investments, makes all investment decisions for the Merk Hard Currency Fund. Mr. Merk founded Merk Investments AG in Switzerland in 1994; in 2001, he relocated to the US and transferred all investment advisory activities to Merk Investments LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser.

Mr. Merk holds a BA in Economics (magna cum laude) and MSc in Computer Science from Brown University, Rhode Island. The institution awarded him the Class of 1873 Prize for Excellence in Economics in 1991. He has extensive experience and expertise in how global financial imbalances, as evidenced by an enormous trade deficit, affect the markets. He has published many articles describing complex economic phenomena in understandable terms and speaks on the topics of investment and global financial markets at conferences.

About the Merk Hard Currency Fund and Merk Investments
The Merk Hard Currency Fund, a pure play on hard currencies, provides investors with a new fundamental investment option to gain exposure to hard currencies such as the euro, Swiss franc, Australian dollar and indirectly in gold. To gain access to a basket of hard currencies without the Fund, investors must either determine which currencies they wish to invest in and gain exposure through buying those currencies directly; invest in funds that may include more speculative currencies in their portfolios; invest in international stock or bond funds that introduce stock market, credit and/or interest risks; or engage in complex and speculative derivative trading.

The Merk Hard Currency Fund is managed by Merk Investments, a money management firm that invests with discipline and long-term focus while adapting to changing environments.

For more information on the Merk Hard Currency Fund, please visit www.merkfunds.com. For more information on Merk Investments, please visit www.merkinvestments.com.

Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks and charges and expenses of the Merk Hard Currency Fund carefully before investing. This and other information is in the prospectus, a copy of which may be obtained by visiting the Fund's website at www.merkfunds.com or calling 866-MERK FUND. Please read the prospectus carefully before you invest.

The Fund primarily invests in foreign currencies and as such, changes in currency exchange rates will affect the value of what the Fund owns and the price of the Fund’s shares. Investing in foreign instruments bears a greater risk than investing in domestic instruments for reasons such as volatility of currency exchange rates and, in some cases, limited geographic focus, political and economic instability, and relatively illiquid markets. The Fund is subject to interest rate risk which is the risk that debt securities in the Fund’s portfolio will decline in value because of increases in market interest rates. As a non-diversified fund, the Fund will be subject to more investment risk and potential for volatility than a diversified fund because its portfolio may, at times, focus on a limited number of issuers. The Fund may also invest in derivative securities which can be volatile and involve various types and degrees of risk. For a more complete discussion of these and other Fund risks please refer to the Fund’s prospectus. Foreside Fund Services, LLC, distributor.

For information or interviews contact:

Chris McManus
Boldbrook Marketing
(718) 832-9154
chris@boldbrook.com

Vicki Sakakeeny
Boldbrook Marketing
(781) 475-8720
vicki@boldbrook.com