ESC Buffs Up New Silver Fund

Feb 28 2007 | 12:31pm ET

Singapore-based ESC Financial Services is betting on silver in its latest attempt to “provide professionals in the industry with more exotic funds.” The firm in March will launch the Artemis Silver Fund, a long-bias commodity vehicle, with about US$1 million. The fund is hoping to raise US$300 million before closing the fund.
The silver fund will invest primarily in silver mining and precious metal-related securities, as well as silver bullion, and may use options and futures to hedge against corrections in the silver market. Charles Supapodok, a former silver analyst, is the fund’s portfolio manager.

“Based on internal research and external researches, I conclude that silver will continue to shine as a precious metal,” said Supapodock. “Silver has been in a 20-year bear market, from its highs in 1980 to 2000.  Since 2001, silver returned 196% while gold returned 137%.  Outstanding demand/supply fundamentals, robust use of silver as an industrial metal, rising investment demand, growing investor awareness and continuing silver deficits are the main reason behind silver outperforming gold in the past few years.”

The fund charges a 3% management fee and 25% performance fee, with a $25,000 minimum investment requirement.

The silver fund is the second from ESC, which touts itself as an incubation and financial services platform for emerging managers. The firm last May launched the Orbani Fund, a Cayman Islands-domiciled foreign exchange vehicle investing in the major global currencies utilizing technical and fundamental indicators and techniques.

“It is our major objective not to present the same investment vehicles that have been around for years,” said Shoham Cohen, co-founder and director. “We are looking for the next generation in the investment universe.”

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