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Heart of Africa reaches £75m after six months

New Star’s Heart of Africa fund is within weeks of closing after reaching £75m of its £100m capacity.

The fund, managed by Jamie Allsopp, has been a big success since its launch last November, taking £34m in its initial offer period.

It has returned 10.6 per cent since launch compared with a rise in the FTSE All Share index of 2.3 per cent.

Allsopp says the fund has done particularly well due to a number of initial public offerings in the sub-Saharan region, such as Kenya’s biggest telecommunications provider Safaricom.

He says many of the returns have come from Nigeria, Kenya, Mauritius and Ghana, with banks, telecoms, breweries and commodities producing good performance from a sector perspective.

Allsopp continues to hold a high cash holding of 25 per cent which he is dripfeeding into the region to avoid liquidity issues.

He says: “Prospects for the region continue to be as strong as ever, with a number of IPOs serving the fund well. A maximum exposure of 15 per cent in commodities is also bearing fruit, given that it is driving exports.”

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