Sweden’s Tundra opens Karachi office
Tundra Fonder, the Swedish emerging and frontier markets specialist, is boosting its coverage of Asia with a new office in Karachi and the first appointment of a three-strong team of local analysts.
The office will open during the first quarter this year, and will be led by Shamoon Tariq. Currently in Stockholm as part of a process of bedding in with Tundra, Tariq has previously worked at Optimus Capital Management (Pvt), Askari Investment Management Limited, and National Fullerton Asset Management Limited, all in Pakistan.
The role of the analyst team will be to provide deeper and broader insight into listed companies in Pakistan, which accounts for some 45% of the MSCI Frontier Asia Index. This information will be fed to Mattias Martinsson, the deputy CEO, CIO and portfolio manager of the Tundra Pakistan fund, who sits in Stockholm and maintains lead manager duties. Martinsson will continue to visit Pakistan.
However, the new office and analyst team will also serve to support Tundra’s business objectives. It is particularly interested in the frontier markets of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, says Johan Elmquist, portfolio manager and partner. Others, such as Cambodia are also of interest, he adds.
“We see the importance of being local, and connecting with local companies,” he says.
Having research resources based in Pakistan will offer significant advantages such as “being able to meet companies on a more frequent and regular basis.”
“Shamoon has several years of experience and broader knowledge of companies by sector – where we know the top 2-3 per sector, he knows number 5th, 6th and so on.”
The Pakistan fund was launched in October 2011, and has returned some 67% since then with a tracking error of some 10%, according to the latest monthly note for December reporting the SEK Class A shares.
As of Friday 31 January, the fund has beaten its benchmark index by some 25%, and returned close to 82% in SEK terms since launch, says Elmquist.
Looking forward through 2014, political risk remains important, the recent note said.