Babylon Fund Spirals Downward In 2008

Jan 27 2009 | 11:19am ET

The Iraq-focused Babylon Fund dropped another 3% last month, bringing its year-to-date loss to 22.7%.

While the fund’s performance was not satisfying from an absolute return perspective, portfolio manager Björn Englund said its performance relative to other Middle East and North Africa funds, and frontier markets funds, were actually “quite attractive.”

“An Iraqi market that almost everybody perceived wrongly as one of extreme high risk, turned out truly to provide a relative uncorrelated, and lowly financial risk environment,” wrote Englund, in a letter to investors. “During the year, Iraq has not endured a single corporate bankruptcy among its 100 publicly listed companies, even less any bursts of financial bubbles nor any recapitalization/nationalizations of the private banking system.”

Neither aggressive deleveraging or forced selling have been issues on the Baghdad trading floor, according to Englund. Rather, he says most of the Iraqi strategic shareholders are currently raising their stakes on the basis that Iraqi equities are clearly undervalued and will rebound from their current depressed levels.

In Depth

Related-Company Fees: Normal Industry Practice or Conflicted Compensation?

Nov 11 2015 | 4:23pm ET

Regulatory agencies as well as investors are increasingly exploring whether certain...


Ferrari Roars in Wall Street Debut

Oct 21 2015 | 4:28pm ET

Shares of supercar maker Ferrari jumped as much as 15 percent to a high of nearly...

Guest Contributor

Private Debt - What is the Opportunity?

Nov 11 2015 | 3:28pm ET

In this contributed article, Rob Allard, founding partner of Firebreak Capital...


Editor's Note

    Oct 21 2015 | 10:41am ET

    One of the most unique charity benefits in the hedge fund industry, A Leg To Stand On's (ALTSO's) Hedge Fund Rocktoberfest - NYC, raised nearly $500,000 last Thursday thanks to the generous support of major sponsors and nearly 1,400 attendees from the Tri-State finance, business and hedge fund communities. Read more…