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The Africa & Middle East Fundís focus on a rapidly developing economic region and its willingness to concentrate its holdings in promising sectors provides potential for strong capital appreciation. It offers exposure to a region that may not currently be represented in an investorís portfolio and that is not readily accessible through other investment vehicles. Countries may include Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates.
Investments in emerging markets are subject to abrupt and severe price declines. The economic and political structures of developing nations, in most cases, do not compare favorably with the U.S. or other developed countries in terms of wealth and stability, and their financial markets often lack liquidity. Because of this concentration in rapidly developing economies, the fund involves a high degree of risk. Share prices are subject to market risk, as well as risks associated with unfavorable currency exchange rates and political or economic uncertainty abroad. In addition, because the fund has nondiversified status, it can invest more of its assets in a smaller number of companies than diversified funds. As a result, poor performance by a single large holding of the fund would adversely affect its performance more than if the fund were invested in a larger number of companies.