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Ruffer expands to Pacific

Ruffer Investment Management has brought out a fifth fund, the CF Ruffer Pacific fund. This Oeic aims to deliver consistently positive returns by investing in companies in the Asia Pacific region, which includes countries such as Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia.

The fund contains around 28 holdings and is benchmarked against the MSCI Asia Pacific Index. It is managed by Andrew Ballingal who has 20 years&#39 experience gained with BZW, Sloane Robinson, Schroders and TAL.

The CF Ruffer pacific fund is not bound by industrial or geographical sector weightings, which leaves Ballingal free to invest wherever he thinks will produce the best returns.

Currently the fund holds around 34 per cent in cash with the remainder in equities. The heavy cash weighting reflects Ruffer&#39s view on currency issues. They believe Asian currencies will rise in value against the dollar and that this will benefit holders of cash and bonds.

However, Ruffer is optimistic about equities in the region despite concerns about instabilities. Half the equity content of the portfolio is invested in what Ruffer believes are lower-risk equities within the utilities and consumer sectors. These are companies that have good management teams at the helm, are financially strong, and reasonably priced.

Another part of the fund is invested in riskier companies mainly within sectors such as finance and real estate. However, there will be some exposure to the car industry and electronics through companies such as Denso Corporation which manufactures car parts. The portfolio will also contain a smaller exposure to commodities, including precious metals and energy.

This fund&#39s lack of fixed sector weightings will be a useful strategy for volatile areas such as Japan because the portfolio can shift in line with market conditions. It also allows for shorter-term currency plays within particular sectors. However, the fund may be a bit spicy for some investors as currency fluctuations and political uncertainties could be a problem.

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