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16 Sep 2009

No country for stimulus packages - Silkinvest on MENA Hedge Funds

In an update from MENA hedge fund investor SilkInvest, CEO Baldwin Berges writes, "While the major economies are still fuelled on policy support level, there are several economies in our region of focus that benefit from authentic internal growth drivers that are not always in need of extra stimulus."

"During the month of August, in anticipation of a possible correction of the summer rally in the majors, we have been taking some profits across our holdings, thereby increasing our cash levels in both our Arab and African equity funds to levels of around 15% and 13% respectively." Berges says, "In hindsight, this decision seems to be paying off. Both funds arguably continue to be amongst the most diversified across markets and sectors within the fund peer groups. We retain the flexibility to invest in the right opportunities as they present themselves."

Regarding the MENA markets, he said, "a development, although not very influential to stock prices, caught our attention: Yahoo, the popular Internet search engine, agreed to buy Arabic-language Internet venture Maktoob.com as it seeks to enter the Middle East market. Yahoo did not disclose the terms of the agreement. The transaction is set to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year. This is interesting because Yahoo sees tremendous growth opportunities for Arabic content in the region and sees in excess of 30% annual growth in internet users in the region over the years to come."

Nexar Capital Group Hedge Fund Launch

Global hedge fund group, Nexar Capital Group SCA, announced the launch of an investment from funds managed by Aquiline Capital Partners LLC, a New York-based private equity firm.

The hedge fund firm was founded by industry veterans who built a market-leading hedge fund business at Société Générale Asset Management Alternative Investments, led by Arié Assayag, Chief Executive Officer; Eric Attias, Chief Investment Officer; and Bernard Kalfon, Head of Volatility Strategies.

“As an independent company, Nexar has a long-term approach that aligns our interests with those of our clients and allows us to provide them with superior investment management,” said Mr. Assayag. “Aquiline’s depth of investment management experience immediately gives us the strength and stability of an institutional platform, thus making Aquiline an ideal partner as we build our business.”

“Nexar’s team built its strong reputation in the industry through its success in growing and managing a leading hedge fund business,” said Jeff Greenberg, Chief Executive of Aquiline. “Recent market turmoil has underscored the importance of transparency, liquidity and true alpha generation, which are core elements of Nexar’s approach.”