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05.03.2009 General News

EDC Launches iFUND

By Daniel Nonor - Ghanaian Chronicle

Ecobank Development Corporation (EDC), the investment wing of the Ecobank Group has launched an open ended mutual fund dubbed the iFUND.

The fund proposes to raise a minimum initial subscription of GH ¢200,000 within three weeks, at an initial price of 10Gp per share with a minimum subscription per investor being 200 shares valued at GH¢20 and multiples of 100 shares thereafter.

The fund which would invest in both fixed income securities and equities also focuses on providing optimum returns at proportionate risk levels and expected to raise some $100 million in two years.

The Fund Manager, EDC Investment Limited say although the iFUND is being introduced at the heels of a severe global financial crises, careful studies on the developments on the various African markets proves a very attractive emerging opportunities.

Mr. Paul Mante, Head of EIL explains that the market correction that has characterized most of the African markets has brought to the fore very good bargains, especially because of the fact that the operating fundamentals of most of the blue print chip companies in Africa have not been hit by direct exposure to sub-prime engineered liquidity problems as is prevailing on the major international markets.

Managing Director, EDC, Mr. J. Mike Ashong emphasized that the capital market in Africa and else where, prices have witnessed a considerable drop over time and heading to the point where the prices are just about seeing the bottom especially at the time the United States have come up with the market correction plan to inject some funding to the market to kick start their economy. “What that means is that there would be investments in these markets and that would see a market price rising into the future. The advantage this brings to us is that we are launching this fund at the time shares could be bought at very low prices.” he added that looking at developments on the equities market, where prices on all stock exchanges are at their lows offers the best opportunities to pick up the share and create that portfolio.

The fund manager said it is aware of the difficult and jittery investment climate at the moment, but also believes that a contrarian attititude to the consensus view is capable of generating exciting gains for a medium to long term focused fund ,especially where a careful bottom-up investment strategy is well pursued. The manager also reiterates the view that in times of severe market correction, there is always a window of opportunity for wealth transfer from the fearful to the astute investor

The offer opened on March 2, and closes on March 20 2009.