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Alternative Market Briefing

Soft commodities catch the eye of investors in South Africa

Friday, December 21, 2012

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York: Uys Meyer was one of the first short sellers in South Africa. He started shorting stocks in the country in the late 1990s and has sense become one of the leaders in this field. Now he’s moved into new product creation – building a first-of-its-type product in the South African market. He recently spoke about this product and his strategy in an Opalesque TV interview with Matthias Knab.

Meyer’s current firm BlueAlpha, recently launched the Polar Star Commodity Fund, which focuses on soft commodities. It is a non-directional fund focused on arbitrages in soft commodities across different exchanges.

"Most of these self-commodity products are produced in multiple of regions and have very same basic similarities, the supply and demand characteristics are quite different in all the regions and allows at times for big price variances that occurs from time-to-time," Meyer says. By using long range data Meyer is able to discover profitable pricing differences.

He explains that the pure supply and demand drivers of commodity prices will create lasting opportunities in this space. So far, Meyer has roughly $100m invested in the fund. "One of the things that we've been very cognizant about is the profile of the investors we've grown into the fund, and we are very deliberate in trying not to have an over-exposure to institutional investors - s......................

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