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Emeralt launches long/short equity fund focused on Russia

Tuesday, October 05, 2010
Emeralt launches OPAL – a new long-short equity fund focusing on Russian growth industries Emeralt Investments is pleased to announce the launch of tis new Opal Fund as a new product in its range of Eastern Europe hedge funds.

Opal will take liquid long and short positions in Russian/CIS equities. The Fund’s investment process is built on fundamental bottom-up stock picking in combination with a business oriented macro analysis.

The objective of Opal is to provide its investors with strong positive performance which is uncorrelated to equity markets. Risk-adjusted returns are expected to be superior to that of a traditional equity portfolio.

The new fund will be managed by Johan Ekström, who has been recruited from Alfa Bank, one of Russia’s largest privately owned banking groups. Johan was previously head of fund management at Alfa Capital, the award-winning asset management arm of Alfa Bank, where he oversaw over $300 million in several Russian equity funds. Johan has ten years of fund management experience and worked together with Emeralt founders Daniel Dinef and Mats Wandrell at Swedbank Robur prior to his career at Alfa Bank.

As with all Emeralt funds, Opal’s investment strategy is based upon a defined risk mandate. Based on this target, the manager maximizes the fund’s performance. During his time at Alfa Capital, Johan Ekström managed Russia sector fund focusing on banking/finance and consumer goods. Opal will therefore focus particularly on interesting investment opportunities beyond the oil and gas industry, which today dominates the Russian equity market. Opal will be launched on 1 September 2010 with significant seed capital from a Swedish investment company.

Citibank has been appointed as the prime broker for the new fund and FAST Ltd is the fund administrator.. “During the past decade anyone could make money investing in anything in Russia. That era is now behind us”, says Johan Ekström. “However, Russia remains an under-analyzed and misunderstood market. With a disciplined view and a systematic analysis we believe Opal can generate a superior risk adjusted return vis-à-vis Russia long-only funds and global emerging markets hedge funds.”

“We are very proud to welcome Johan Ekström to our fund management team”, says Carl Meurling, CEO of Emeralt Investments. “We strongly believe in the combination of Johan’s award-winning fund management skills and Emeralt’s tried and tested platform for absolute returns.”

(press release)

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