Money manager Greenwich Advisors is launching an open-end India-focused investment fund that is aiming to lure institutional and retail investors.
The one-year-old firm is kicking off the India Select Fund -- its first investment vehicle -- with the hopes of raising sufficient equity to rival India-centric investment vehicles such as closed-end
. That fund maintains net assets of more than $2.2 billion.
Greenwich's India Select Fund will be run by portfolio manager Suhas Kundapoor, who previously directed a $400 million investment portfolio for
Appetite for investing in markets including Brazil, Russia, India and China has grown substantially over the past few years, as investors seek to diversify their portfolios and acquire investments that have returns uncorrelated with assets they own in the U.S.
But beyond the tried-and-true diversification tack, India's burgeoning market, benefiting from outsourcing from U.S. businesses, is expected to see tremendous growth over the long-term. Kundapoor says outsourcing is an overhyped component of the India growth picture. He adds that the country's market has been hot in service sectors such as telecommunications, banking as well as in infrastructure.
"Earnings growth makes India's stock market very attractive," he adds noting that companies in India are projected to see earnings growth for 2007 of around 25%.
That has played out for
private-equity shop Blackstone, which this week reported that its closed-end India fund has been its best performer, with annualized returns of 43.9%. The India Fund saw net realized and unrealized gains equal to $4.29 and $3.04 per share, respectively, according to a recent public filing.
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By virtue of its open-end nature, India Select is able to take new money throughout the life of the fund. Blackstone and India Fund are closed to investors after a certain capital raising period. Comparable open-end funds include
Eaton Vance Greater India Fund
Matthews International Funds'
Matthews India Fund.
The investment fund is expected to canvass some 2,000 companies, maintain at least an 80% focus domestically and make long-term investments. The State Bank of India Funds Management Private Limited, which manages about $6 billion, serves as sub-adviser, providing Greenwich a team of nearly 300 investment professionals to assist the fund company.
Kundapoor will both look at individual companies and pursue attractive sector bets.
"India is seeing the type of growth that the U.S. saw in the 1960s and 1970s," Kundapoor adds.