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Ashburton Investments launches Africa Equity Opportunities Fund

04 March 2014 Ashburton Investments

Ashburton Investments, the investment management business of FirstRand Limited (FirstRand), today launched its new Ashburton Africa Equity Opportunities Fund to South African investors.

The new fund will focus on targeting undervalued listed African equities (excluding-South Africa) across various sectors to achieve long-term capital growth. It is aimed at experienced retail and institutional investors, including the private wealth and family office space.

Johannesburg based Paul Clark is the lead adviser to the fund. He has over 15 years’ experience in African listed equity markets. Benefiting from an unconstrained approach, he will run a high-conviction portfolio, using a bottom-up stock selection process.

Paul Clark commented: "Now is an exciting time for Ashburton Investments to launch an Africa Fund. Africa is a growth story and seven of the ten quickest growing economies globally will be in Africa in the next five years.

"Valuations are cheap relative to emerging markets and the consumer boom is leading to greater demand, which is also extending to infrastructure development, construction and leisure. Improving operating environments across the continent means investors now have access to previously un-obtainable opportunities and greater investor protection.”

Boshoff Grobler, Head of Ashburton Investments commented: "The launch of the Africa Equity Opportunities Fund is consistent with our goal of becoming the leading new generation investment manager in Africa offering South African, African, Asian and Chinese investment opportunites.

"The fund will offer investors more sources of return through an attractive African investment opportunity.

"While this is a new fund for us, Africa is extremely familiar territory. As part of the FirstRand Group, Ashburton Investments is part of the largest financial services group on the African continent, giving us on the ground presence and local insights.

"We are extremely well placed to capture the high growth opportunities Africa offers.”

Ashburton Investments recently launched its UCITS platform and the Africa Equity Opportunities Fund was the first fund on the platform when it launched on 22 May 2013. UCITS (Undertakings For Collective Investment In Transferable Securities) is a set of European Union Directives that allows for the distribution of collective investment schemes among countries within the European Union on the basis of a single authorisation from one member state. It is designed to maintain high levels of investor protection. The fund has also been approved for distribution to South African investors by the Financial Services Board.

By adhering to the UCITS framework, the fund will implement its sound risk management policies related to diversification and liquidity amongst others.

Ashburton Investments is FirstRand Group’s fourth financial services franchise alongside FNB, RMB and WesBank. It launched on June 11th 2013 and has over R112bn assets under management.

For more information and a full list of funds visit: ashburtoninvestments.com

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