Silk Invest lists frontier funds in Italy

Frontier market specialist Silk Invest has listed two of its Africa funds on Italian stock exchange Borsa Italiana.

Silk Africa Lions fund and Silk African Bond fund will be available to Italian retail and institutional investors on the ETFplus segment, which also includes Ucits funds as well as ETFs.

Silk Africa Lions is an equity fund which invests in the African consumer sector focusing on companies within the banking, telecommunications, real estate and infrastructure.

Talking to InvestmentEurope, group CIO Zin Bekkali said the fund is 40% invested in Africa, 30% in Asia – mainly Bangladesh and Pakistan and 30% in the Middle East, mainly Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The Silk Africa Bond is a bond mutual fund which invests in African government bonds, which traditionally are not included in fixed income emerging and frontier markets indices.

Geographically speaking, the bond fund focuses on Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and is looking to move into Ethiopia.

The investment portfolio for both funds offers medium duration, average investment grade quality and low correlation compared with global indices.

Silk Invest is a London based investment firm launched in 2008 and currently manages some $225m. The two funds have a combined AUM of $60m and while the Silk Africa Lions was launched in 2009, the Silk Africa Bond was repositioned in 2015.

“Africa offers very interesting investment opportunities. Its GDP has raised four fold over the past 20 years and analysts expect it to grow by 50% over the next five years,” Malick Badije, head of Investment Solutions & Advisory said.

“Italy is one of the biggest markets in Europe and we figured it’d be a good opportunity for us to enter it,” Bekkali said.

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