Harbinger Builds African Resources Investments

May 27 2010 | 11:17am ET

You wouldn’t call Harbinger Capital Partners an emerging markets hedge fund. But the firm’s latest strategy is taking it into the frontier.

New York-based Harbinger has made a trio of investments in Africa, chasing the commodities boom to “the last untapped resource frontier on earth,” the firm’s Lawrence Clark told Bloomberg News.

Harbinger has taken big stakes in African Medical Investments and Sable Mining Africa—45% and 22%, respectively—as well as investing in African Minerals. And the $10 billion firm said that is only the beginning; Clark has looked into 15 countries over the past nine months.

“Over time, we’re going to work towards making more investments, but we’re only going to do so with great caution,” he said.

“The dollar value of our African investments, to date, has been very small as an overall percentage of our portfolio,” Clark added. “We’re doing a hell of a lot of work on small dollars right now to get comfortable that we’re making the right investments.”

A lot of that work includes visiting the continent: Clark said Harbinger will not invest in a project that he has not personally seen first-hand.

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