Investec Asset Management has launched its offshore Wireless World fund, a themed portfolio investin...
Investec Asset Management has launched its offshore Wireless World fund, a themed portfolio investing in companies benefiting from the emergence of wireless communications, writes Robert Stock.
The FSA recognised fund will be invested in a concentrated portfolio of around 40 stocks in order to give investors strong exposure to the upside growth potential of the growing universe of stocks connected to wireless technology.
Retail 'A' shares on the fund, which is a Dublin-domiciled Ucits product, carry an IFA commission of 5%. This can be discounted during the offer period which lasts until 30 November 2000. The fund has an annual management fee of 1.75% and a minimum investment of $3,000 or £2,000. It is not currently available as an Isa.
The launch in the UK of the dollar-denominated fund follows the US launch in February of the GF Wireless World mutual fund.
It is ranked third out of 27 funds in the communication fund sector by Morning Star on its performance since launch to the end of July.
The UK Wireless fund is to be managed by Seth Kirkham and Adrian Brass and is based on the belief that the growth of a wireless world will throw up an ever-increasing variety of growth stocks.
Kirkham said projections for this growth include analyst predictions that worldwide wireless subscribers are set to grow from 456 million at the end of 1999 to one billion in 2002 and that two-thirds of Europeans will own a mobile phone by 2003, 85% of which will be internet enabled.
Wireless devices, Kirkham said, are going to penetrate into all walks of life and industry. An example of this is an automotive industry projection that by 2005 the majority of the 60 million cars sold will be equipped with an on-board wireless device.
Kirkham said the portfolio contains mobile operators, software providers facilitating wireless solutions, hardware producers, mobile infrastructure providers and component makers.
Stock selection is based on a matrix approach, combining top down sector views with bottom up stock picking.
Kirkham said he and Brass were looking for scalable business models, revenue streams, differentiated products and services, and strong management.
Kirkham said the fund looks like it has been drawn from a telecommunications fund model at the moment, but will broaden as the wireless revolution expands the universe of investible stocks. An example of this projected future diversification of the fund is the fund's holding in Nordic Baltic, a Swedish bank developing wireless banking.
Fund exposure by region reflects the European strength in wireless technology with a 47% weighting in the region, 47% invested in the US and 6% in Asia.
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