Ghana Gets First Hedge Fund

Jun 26 2014 | 11:19am ET

As Ghana gears up for its crucial World Cup match today against Portugal, a former regulator is gearing up to give the country its first hedge fund.

Maxwell Gidi has founded Tikowrie Capital in the West African country, that region’s second-largest economy. The firm’s maiden fund, which formally opens to investors today, aims to raise in excess of 5 million Ghanian cedis (US$1.5 million) over the next three weeks.

Gidi hopes the commodity- and currency-focused firm will have between 30 million and 50 million cedis under management within five years.

“The appetite of investors in the country has grown over the years,” he told Bloomberg News. “They’re looking for more sophisticated avenues of investment.”

Tikowrie will be the first such avenue, Ghana’s Securities and Exchange Commission reports. But it is unlikely to be the last: The SEC—where Gidi worked for seven years in its broker-dealer department—is now reviewing new policies that will allow it to regulate alternative investments, proposals expected to be passed into law before the end of the year.

Tikowrie will trade in U.S. dollars, Australian dollars, Canadian dollars, the euro, British pound and yen, Gidi said, investing in gold, copper, palladium and sovereign debt. The cedi has fallen 29% against the dollar, the worst performance of its kind among 24 African currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

London-based CFH Clearing serves as Tikowrie’s prime broker.

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