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South African Hedge Fund Thrown Open To International Investors

by Phillip Morton, Investors Offshore.com

23 February 2006


Fortune Asset Management has announced that a South African hedge fund of funds will from next month be open to international investors.

The Mayibentsha Fund was launched in April 2003 and was until December 2005 only available to South African investors. From March 2006, the Mayibentsha Opportunities Fund will also be available for overseas investors through Fortune Funds Limited, a Cayman Islands entity.

The Fund is available in three different classes namely, US dollar series, euro series and GBP series, and the exposure to the Rand is hedged out on a monthly basis. Rand-exposure classes are also available in these currencies. The minimum initial subscription is US$50,000. The fund offers a diversified exposure to Southern Africa as well as the international businesses located there.

The new fund of funds is the result of a partnership between Fortune and South Africa's Novare Investments, entered into in July 2005.

Novare is a leading investment advisor and investment manager, which is part owned by Mvelaphanda Holding, South Africa's largest black-owned quoted company, and which is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Novare currently manages approximately US$1.1 billion of assets and is the manager of the Mayibentsha Fund, a fund which represents the largest multi-strategy portfolio of hedge funds investing exclusively in South Africa, with US$138 million under management.

Spurred by low inflation and interest rates and economic growth of 5% in 2005, the South African FTSE/JSE All Share Index gained 47% last year.

The robust South African economy has already led to significant direct investments by foreign players like Barclays and Vodafone, and foreign investors pumped more than R50billion (US$8.2 billion) into South African equities during 2005.

Derrick Roper, CIO of Novare, commented that: “We believe Mayibentsha provides international investors the opportunity to gain exposure to South Africa through a well managed portfolio exposed to the best hedge funds in South Africa.”

Meanwhile, Simon Hopkins, CEO of Fortune, added that: “South Africa is a developed financial market within a burgeoning new economy. The financial community is highly sophisticated with many local participants having held senior roles overseas before returning home."

"We have been impressed with Novare’s ability to deliver exceptional returns over the last 33 months with far
less volatility than the local stockmarket," Mr Hopkins added.

A comprehensive report in our Intelligence Report series examining offshore investment, offshore stock exchanges, and hedge funds is available in the Lowtax Library at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/subs_reports.asp and a description of the report can be seen at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/description_report9.asp

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