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Barings to launch frontier markets fund

Barings to launch frontier markets fund

Barings is to add to its stable of emerging and frontier market funds with the launch of the Baring Frontier Markets fund for Michael Levy (pictured) which will have at least 70% equity exposure to frontier markets.

Levy, who joined Barings from AllianceBernstein last July, will be supported on the fund by Dr Ghadir Abu Leil-Cooper, the group's head of EMEA.

The new fund will be a Dublin-domiciled Ucits structure that will have an annual management charge of 2%. It will also issue a share class for institutional investors.

Barings was an early adopter of emerging market funds and was among the first to launch funds into China, Latin America and Russia and Eastern Europe.

More recently it launched the Baring ASEAN Frontiers A GBP IncBaring ASEAN Frontiers fund and top performing Baring MENA fund for Ghadir Abu Leil Cooper.

The managers will look to blend a top down view on political and economic factors affecting individual frontier markets with a more focused bottom up stock selection process.

Frontier markets have traditionally carried higher levels of corporate governance risk than their more developed peers but Barings said it was encouraged by what it called a 'change in tangible policy mix' sparked by the potential development of democracy across the Middle East region following the Arab Spring.

It also said it was encouraged by general progress in Africa away from autocracy towards more transparent and accountable regimes.

Levy said: 'Over the last 20 years, the free float market capitalisation of core emerging markets has increased 25 fold and we believe that frontier markets are now positioned where emerging markets were 20 years ago, poised to become the next big opportunity.'

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