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First State expands specialist range with Latin America Fund launch


First State Investments has announced plans to launch a Latin America Fund, which will be targeted at UK and European wholesale and institutional investors.

First State Investments has announced plans to launch a Latin America Fund, which will be targeted at UK and European wholesale and institutional investors.

The fund will employ the same bottom-up stock-picking approach, with its focus on quality companies, which underpins First State’s Asia Pacific and global emerging markets range of funds.

It will be managed by emerging markets specialists Jonathan Asante and Millar Mathieson. Alan Nesbit will act as deputy fund manager.

The First State team has been investing in Latin America and global emerging markets for almost 20 years. Asante also manages First State’s Global Emerging Market Leaders Fund, the top-ranked fund in its sector over one, two and three years, having returned 76.2 per cent since inception.

The First State Latin America Fund will mirror the investment style of First State’s existing emerging markets funds by focusing on a select list of companies with strong growth potential that are likely to have a consumer-related bias.

It will target investment opportunities in such countries as Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. The geographical spread of the fund may extend to other neighbouring regions should the fund managers see value in these areas.

Asante says: "The launch of First State’s Latin America Fund will enable us to take advantage of more attractive valuations in the region and ensure investors are in a strong position to capitalise on future growth. Looking ahead, Latin America over the mid to long term is an exciting investment proposition.

"If our focus were purely on raising assets, this would be a challenging time to launch a fund. However, we are an investment team run by investors and our decision to launch this fund highlights the longer term opportunities we see in the region and the relative value starting selectively to appear there."

The fund will be part of First State Investments ICVC domiciled in the UK and have a minimum subscription of GBP1,500 for retail investors.

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