IN FO­CUS: RWANDA ‘ WE ARE FI­NANC­ING A COUN­TRY THAT IS SLOWLY BE­ING RE­BUILT’

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - FRONT PAGE -

Rwanda is a coun­try many in­vestors are over­look­ing at the mo­ment and that is one of the main rea­sons I like it. Its gov­ern­ment bonds are too small to be in­cluded in JP Mor­gan’s bench­mark in­dex as they have re­leased only around $400m. But there is enor­mous growth po­ten­tial.

This is a coun­try that has been rav­aged by civil war in the past and is now look­ing to re­cover, so there is a lot of low-hang­ing fruit. The coun­try is no longer fight­ing it­self so things need to be re­built and we are ex­pect­ing a steady in­crease in in­fra­struc­ture and pro­duc­tiv­ity as things sta­bilise over the long term.

Rwanda is grow­ing faster than its neigh­bours, but it is sta­ble growth, not driven by any one spike in com­modi­ties prices or any other bub­ble. For a sub­Sa­ha­ran African coun­try we think that trans­parency has come a long way, too. There are still is­sues, but things are im­prov­ing in the busi­ness cul­ture and in gen­der equal­ity.

This was one of the first hold­ings I added to the fund when I took over in 2013 and it has been in the fund since. It’s a core po­si­tion and a solid per­former, pay­ing a yield of around 5pc to 6pc. been de­val­ued or the com­modi­ties par­tic­u­lar to those economies have not done so well. We think they are now turn­ing the cor­ner and growth is com­ing back, deficits are shrink­ing and com­mod­ity prices such as co­coa in the Ivory Coast or oil in An­gola are on the rise. I bought Ukrainian gov­ern­ment bonds fol­low­ing the an­nex­a­tion of Crimea by Rus­sia in 2014. As the coun­try re­cov­ered and its debt was re­struc­tured we more than dou­bled our money in about six months.

Re­cently we got hurt a lit­tle by the cri­sis in Turkey. I had about 1pc to 2pc of the fund in­vested in lo­cal cur­rency and the banks. Thank­fully the ex­po­sure was min­i­mal. Yes. I would have worked at an in­ter­na­tional aid or­gan­i­sa­tion.

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