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Two new Investec funds target African markets
13th December 2005
FUND manager Investec Asset Management yesterday announced the launch of two funds investing in African markets, to tap further into the continentís vast investment potential.

Last year, five of the top 10 performing equities markets worldwide were in Africa, with Egypt, Ghana, Malawi and Zambia - each increasing more than 75% in the year. "We are ideally placed to tap into what is likely to become an important region for investors seeking returns in the future," Hendrik du Toit, Investec Asset Management CEO, said yesterday.

Excluding Zimbabwe, Africaís markets returned an average of 34% in US dollars compared with a 22% return from other emerging markets and 14% from developed markets. "Africa is undergoing a revival, both politically and economically, and the continentís world-beating returns have added to the impetus to re-examine Africaís investment case," said Du Toit.

He said the funds would provide investors with a high potential new source of return, with low correlation to mainstream equities. "Equally important is the fact that these funds will support the initiatives by a number of institutions and countries to deploy money into Africa to encourage growth on the continent. Early investors into these frontier markets stand to gain significant rewards if Africa manages to unlock some of its potential," he said.

The Investec Africa Fund which - excludes South African securities - is a rand-denominated unit trust developed with the collaboration and support of the Financial Services Board, the Reserve Bank and the national treasury. The fund will initially target South African institutional investors who have a long-term investment horizon.

The second fund, the Investec Pan Africa Fund, will mainly target US and European institutional investors and will include South African securities. The funds will be managed by Investectís African equities team. Should the portfolio managers fail to find value in equity markets, both funds have the ability to exploit the growing opportunity offered by Africaís fixedincome markets, Du Toit said.
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