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Acquisition Yields Proxy Fight

Zurich Capital Markets of New York, a unit of Zurich Financial Services Group of Zurich, Switzerland, is waging a proxy fight to defeat a proposal that would renew the First Australia Fund's advisory agreement with the Equitilink Group of Sydney, Australia.

The new contract is required because Aberdeen Asset Management of London announced last week that it was acquiring Equitilink for $80 million, according to a preliminary proxy statement filed with the SEC.

Zurich, a 15.79 percent shareholder in the closed-end fund, is asking shareholders to vote against a new advisory agreement with the Equitilink Group because of the fund's persistent discount to net asset value, according to the filing. Shareholders are scheduled to vote on the proxy Nov. 30.