HSBC Investments – one of the world's largest asset managers for emerging markets – has launched a Russian Equity fund which has UK distributor status and is available for sale in 35 countries worldwide.
Launched in December 2007 and managed by HSBC Group's active management specialist, Halbis, the Russian Equity fund (HSBC GIF Russia Equity) has retail and institutional share classes available at levels of $5,000 and $1 million. It is currently being registered for sale around the globe.
The new fund holds a concentrated portfolio of 20 to 30 stocks which could include locally-listed Russian equities, American Depository Receipts, and Global Depository Receipts. Douglas Helfer, who has a 10-year track record in Russian equities management, is in charge of the fund, constructs the portfolio through bottom up stock picking takes an unconstrained approach to sector allocation.
Mr Helfer said: "Over the past few years, Russian stocks have delivered a good return. However, despite their rapid rise, Russian equities still remain attractively valued and amongst the cheapest of the emerging markets."
He considers Russian equities to present "compelling investment
opportunities", and says that Russia has a large economy, and that while the economy was initially driven by commodity exports, it is now entering its eight year of rapid growth and that domestic consumption and investment now account for this growth.
"Russian equities are trading on a 2008 consensus price earnings ratio of 10.5 times, compared to the broader global emerging markets universe of 13 times." Continued mr Helfer. "At the same time, corporate profits continue to grow at a fast pace, particularly in the consumer and finance sectors, where growth is more than 30%. The presidential elections, due to take place in early 2008, should act as a catalyst to strong growth."
Christian Deseglise, Global Head of Emerging Markets Business at HSBC, added that "The launch of a Russian equity fund further cements HSBC’S leadership position in the emerging markets sector," Deseglise said.
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