Emerging markets investment house Regent Pacific Group has taken a step closer to listing with a well-attended company presentation to potential investors yesterday. Sources said the firm was seeking to raise US$50 million with the issue of 170.5 million shares at a prospective price-earnings ratio of eight to 10.4 times. The issue was scheduled to go on offer between May 6 and 9 and would start trading on the exchange on May 19, they said. Other fund managers said they were seeking to arrange private meetings with the company to discuss its listing and business plans. Nomura International was expected to sponsor the flotation. The funds raised from the listing may be used to expand Regent's business in the United States and consolidate its activities in Russia. Regent, set up in late 1990, provides investment management and advisory services in emerging markets. It says it has about US$1.77 billion of assets under management, mainly in eastern Europe. Regent's Russian equity funds - White Tiger, Red Tiger and Blue Tiger - were ranked the three top performing funds in the world for the 12 months to September last year. 'They moved into eastern Europe earlier than other people . . . If you are there early, you have an advantage,' an analyst said yesterday. Regent initially planned to list in November last year but had to postpone the exercise after the listing committee requested more information from the firm. After the information was submitted, the listing was rejected. Regent successfully appealed against the decision. The house has a reputation for 'busting' funds, or buying into poorly performing funds and persuading their managers to quit, sell assets or give shareholders their cash back. Last year, Regent made an operating profit of US$23.7 million.