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Barings plans soft commodity portfolio

Barings Asset Management is looking to start a soft com-modities fund run by Jonathan Blake.

The global agriculture fund is set for a third-quarter launch as an onshore Oeic and will have a diversified portfolio of 90 to 135 holdings.

Blake currently runs the £769m Dublin-domiciled global resources fund which has a 19 per cent exposure to soft commodities.

He says pressure on food prices is growing, with the world population rising by 80 million a year and meat consumption increasing due to improving incomes.

Blake says: “Limited resources and bottlenecks mean that supply is struggling to keep pace with demand while global warming is likely to create additional pressure on supply in years to come.”

Each stock will be equally weighted and will tap into opportunities in developed and emerging markets. Opportunities range from fertilisers and farming infrastructure to retailers and distributors.

Marketing director Ian Pascal says: “If you look at the trends, whether for food in emerging nations like China and India or biofuels in more developed nations, we can see it is the start of a long-term trend for soft commodity investing.”

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