In response to growing interest among investors in publicly traded securities with operations in China, the USX China Index was launched recently, making it the only index in the world devoted exclusively to Chinese-focused public companies traded on U.S. stock exchanges.

"The birth of an index devoted exclusively to Chinese-focused publicly held companies with their securities traded on U.S. stock exchanges was long overdue," said Tim Halter, managing director of the USX China Index. "It's appropriate that we launched the index earlier today in Shanghai, China, at a news conference. The response there has been very enthusiastic. There is a need and demand from investors for this unique index. We anticipate a positive response throughout Asia, North America and elsewhere."

He noted that China has the fastest-growing economy in the world. In 2002, China surpassed the U.S. as the largest recipient of direct foreign investment, an indicator that "smart money" is rushing into China. "In contrast to the gloomy mood in the U.S. the past few years, in China I see people with a twinkle in their eye as their country experiences an economic boom of historic proportions," Halter said.

Nowhere was this more dramatically reflected than in the results of the USX China Index for the past 52 weeks. For this period, the USX China Index was up 136% compared to Nasdaq and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which were up only 52% and 22% respectively for the same period.

"The stocks in the USX China Index offer investors the opportunity to invest in China with the safety of the U.S.-regulated securities markets," Halter explained. "All of the companies in the index are public reporting companies that have their stocks traded on U.S. exchanges which are governed by the Securities and Exchange Commission."

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