Iraq Hedge Fund Up In May, Considers Soft Close

Jun 23 2008 | 2:00am ET

Godvig Capital’s Iraq-focused Babylon Fund finished May up 2.7%, bringing its year-to-date gains to 5.2%.

The fund’s portfolio included stakes in hotels, banks and breweries last month, according to portfolio manager Björn Englund, who said he has been solicited to take on board seats but has refrained from doing so. “Our board policy stays for now, but might have to change in the future,” he said.

Last month, Englund said he continued to slowly add to the portfolio’s Iraq Stock Exchange exposure because of the “sizable inflow” into the fund, and intends to soft close the fund later this year “should assets rise faster than our target.”

Englund remains optimistic about the fund’s performance because of improving conditions in the war-torn country. He points to a decreasing number of U.S. combat troop deaths, oil production and export revenues at four-year highs, and, elsewhere in the volatile region, the fragile truce between Israel and Hamas.

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