Equity Mutual Funds

December 15, 2011 by staff 

Equity Mutual Funds, Community Capital Management, Inc. today announced that its flagship fund, the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Qualified Investment Fund CRA Shares (Ticker: CRAIX), surpassed $1 billion in assets. This milestone demonstrates banks increasing interest in utilizing the Fund to fulfill CRA investment test requirements. The CRA was created in 1977 and mandates that banks make credit and capital available to low- and moderate-income communities.

Launched in 1999, the Fund’s CRA Shares are designed specifically for banks looking to receive positive consideration on the investment test portion of their CRA exam. Once a bank makes an investment in the CRA Shares, the Advisor confirms its targeted assessment area(s) and begins seeking CRA-qualified investments in those counties. From a financial standpoint, each bank owns a pro-rata share of the Fund whereby the risks and returns are diversified among all the shareholders. The Fund invests primarily in government-related subsectors of the bond market that support community development such as agency-backed securities and taxable municipal bonds.

The Fund currently has over 300 bank shareholders ranging from smaller community banks to larger financial institutions. As of 9/30/11, the Fund has invested approximately $3.6 billion in community development initiatives nationwide on behalf of its shareholders.

The CRA Qualified Investment Fund CRA Shares has provided solid performance throughout its history. Its 30-day SEC Yield as of November 30, 2011 is 2.81%. Over the past ten years, the SEC Yield has averaged 0.68% (68 basis points) higher than the yield on the 5-year Treasury note. Its annualized total returns for the one-year, five-year, and ten-year periods were 5.28%, 5.01%, and 4.73%, respectively, as of November 30, 2011.

“The Fund allows banks the opportunity to invest in a vehicle that targets community development capital to their local markets,” said Barbara VanScoy, senior portfolio manager at Community Capital Management. “Many of these markets may be areas that banks have difficulty in reaching. We also work closely with bank examiners and our bank shareholders to ensure that the Fund’s investments are compliant with the regulations and respond to changing community development needs.”

“When we initially created the Fund, we kept the conservative nature of banks in mind,” said Todd Cohen, president and chief investment officer at Community Capital Management. “The Fund is an open-end mutual fund that provides daily liquidity, monthly dividends, and the diversification of high credit quality fixed income securities.”

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