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Alternative Market Briefing

Agricultural (ag) investing - Part One: The growing interest of institutional investors

Friday, April 30, 2010

From Kirsten Bischoff, Opalesque New York:

Prior to the global financial crisis, agricultural (ag) investing gained traction as macro investors and managers focused on emerging markets began to see a future of increased demand for agricultural production driven by population and economic growth in the developing world.

With China as a proxy for emerging market growth, careful study of the country's urbanization and its effect on commodity producers led some firms like London-based manager Altima Partners to agricultural investing. The firm began investing in publicly traded agribusinesses in 2005, but soon after made private equity style investments into large scale farm production companies in those parts of the world that demonstrated scale, growth and attractive values."

"One of the commodity markets we became very interested in around 2006/2007 was the grain markets," Altima's Edward Ho says. "They are cyclical like the other commodity markets and they had not experienced the same run up in prices as oil, steel, iron ore, etc.".

Research from consulting firm HighQuest Partners, which has been deeply immersed in the ag markets, providing strategic planning services for operating companies in the food/ag/renewables industries shows total cultivated land (globally) stands at 1,400 million hectares (1 hectare is approximately 2.5 ......................

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