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Investec rethinks Africa and Middle East funds

Investec Asset Management is to consolidate its Africa and Middle East range in a move that will see two funds merged and another wound down.

The firm is merging its offshore £11.6m Investec GSF Africa and Middle East fund and £11.6m Investec GSF Middle East and North Africa fund into the £50.2m Investec Africa opportunities fund on June 15. The UKdomiciled £14.4m Investec Africa Middle East fund will be wound down by July 2, with investors offered the opportunity to transfer into the Investec Africa opportunities fund.

Meanwhile, JP Morgan has reopened its Africa equity fund to new investors following its soft closure in 2010. It softclosed the Africa equity fund in
November 2010 to new investors after the assets rose from $277m in September to $463m. Current assets under management in the fund are £232m ($377m).

Client portfolio manager Claire Peck says: “We looked at a number of different metrics when we soft-closed it. These included percentage ownership of stocks and average trading volumes. In January, the team got to the point where we were comfortable with these to open the fund to new investors.”

Chelsea Financial Services managing director Darius McDermott says: “It is likely JP Morgan thinks liquidity has increased in Africa and it is in a position to take new money. However, investing in Africa is still niche.”

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The Co-operative Bank withdraws interest-only mortgages  

From next Tuesday the Co-operative Bank will no longer offer mortgages on an interest-only basis. Customers will now only be able to take out mortgages on a capital and repayment basis. This change will not affect existing interest-only mortgage customers. The bank says interest-only mortgages have proven popular over the years, however a combination of […]

House prices down 0.6% in March

House prices fell 0.6 per cent in March, compared to February, taking the average house price in England and Wales to £160,372, according to the latest figures from the Land Registry. The region in England and Wales which experienced the highest increase in its average property value over the last 12 months is London with […]

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Cricket - thumbnail

England vs Australia: pensions

Well, the cricket season is here, and England and Australia are stepping up to the wicket. Although we compete with each other in the sporting world, when it comes to pensions, Australia’s pension programme is held up as a model for our auto-enrolment initiative. Auto-enrolment was introduced because people weren’t saving enough into their pensions, and it is still early days but signs are positive. However, in Australia, saving into a pension is compulsory, and in fact employers are the ones who have to pay in. Employees in Australia can make additional contributions into their pensions, but they don’t have to. Should the onus be on the employer or employee to save? Well in the UK we think it’s both, but to get ‘adequate’ savings for retirement it’s the employee who has to pay more in.

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