December 16, 2010

Ashmore Plans 5 Emerging-Market Debt Funds

The new funds will focus on sovereign debt, local currencies and corporate debt in emerging-market economies

Ashmore Investment Management said Thursday it had received SEC approval for five mutual funds investing in emerging-market debt in the United States.

The group, based in Britain, says the funds will invest in sovereign debt, local currencies and corporate debt in emerging-market economies, which include potential for currency appreciation and higher yields, relative to their developed market counterparts.

The Goldman Sachs Emerging Market Debt I Fund (GSDIX), for instance, is up 13% this year and about 9% on average for the past five years, according to Morningstar. (It has a minimum investment level of $10 million and $658 million in assets.)

Ashmore says the five funds will initially be available through an institutional shares and later retail shares.

The company says that presently some 87% of its $41.6 billion of assets under management are owned by institutional investors, including central banks, public and corporate pensions and insurance companies.

However, Ashmore aims to further broaden its client base, in particular to grow the high-net-worth and retail business by partnering with financial intermediaries like private banks, broker-dealers and other high net worth and retail distributors, according to CEO Mark Coombs.

“Our entry in to the broader U.S. investment market furthers this goal,” said Coombs, in a press release.

“There is growing demand among U.S. investors for emerging markets exposure with a clear trend towards the need for daily liquidity and transparency,” said Christoph Hofmann, global head of distribution, in a statement.

The five funds to be sold in the United States are: the Ashmore Emerging Markets Corporate Debt Fund, Ashmore Emerging Markets Local Currency Fund, Ashmore Emerging Markets Local Currency Bond Fund, Ashmore Emerging Markets Sovereign Debt Fund, and Ashmore Emerging Markets Total Return Fund.

Ashmore focuses on six investment themes being external debt, local currency, equity, corporate debt, special situations (including distressed debt and private equity), and real estate. The firm also manages a multi-strategy fund (not generally available to U.S. investors) and several structured products with investment banks.

Reprints Discuss this story
This is where the comments go.