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Investec won’t open frontiers on Africa funds

Investec says it is resisting any temptation to offer UK retail versions of its two offshore Africa funds despite demand from advisers.

The South Africa-based fund firm has two institutional funds that invest in the frontier market – the $200m pan-Africa and $150m Africa funds.

The Guernsey-domiciled funds were launched in 2005 and 2007 under the management of Roelof Horne and Chris Derksen.

Investec Asset Management managing director David Aird says the funds are not necessarily suited to the mass market.

He says: “These funds invest in what are perceived to be some of the best ideas coming out of Africa, some of which come from the more esoteric areas for value.

“The funds have a high minimum investment and, considering the nature of the market, we feel we need to allocate money for the long term, which does not necessarily suit the retail investor. There is also the question of market liquidity.”

Aird says the group is looking at a number of Africa products but there will be no launches until 2008.

Hargreaves Lansdown investment manager Ben Yearsley says: “It is a shame Investec has not brought these funds to market as it seems like New Star has stolen a march on it but it has its own rationale for launches.”

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