Sunday, January 24, 2010


By Azhar Razak
Sri Lanka’s newly established Leopard Fund, set to launch next month is expected to be a little cautious in the short-term with elections in the corner, but bullish over the longer term, an official said. Leopard Capital plans to start fundraising from February 1 for Leopard Sri Lanka Value Fund (for public equity) while fundraising for Leopard Sri Lanka Fund (for private equity) is to start from April 1.
“There is interest among investors but everybody wants to wait until the elections are over as there are concerns among investors due to the recent developments in the political arena,” Nirosh de Silva, one of the Managing Partner at Leopard Sri Lanka said.
However, he said that there was a lot of interest from institutional investors who are bullish on Sri Lanka and were eyeing on a long-term perspective.
“There have been quite a few investors who have done their due diligence already and are looking forward to it,” de Silva said.
The Leopard Sri Lanka Fund has a fundraising target of US $100 million and a 10-year lifespan. The fund, advised by a council headed by Marc Faber, publisher of the Gloom Boom & Doom Report, will invest in unlisted companies in Sri Lanka, typically taking minority positions.
“The fund aims to help fund the post-war development of Sri Lanka’s economy by investing in sectors such as tourism, consumer goods, seafood processing, agriculture and manufacturing,” de Silva said.
It is an open-ended fund with an initial fundraising target of $30 million. It will invest in a diversified portfolio of companies listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange that the manager considers under-priced by fundamental measures, including under-researched smaller companies.
Meanwhile, the Cayman Islands-based firm recently closed the Leopard Cambodia Fund, its debut product, to new money after receiving $34.1 million from over 100 investors.
Clayton founded Leopard Capital in 2007 to invest in Asian frontier markets. It is a partnership of financial professionals with substantial investment experience in Asian emerging markets. The firm has affiliated offices in Hong Kong, Phnom Penh and Colombo.

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