New Mobius trust raises half its target at launch

New Mobius trust raises half its target at launch

The Mobius Investment Trust, managed by veteran emerging markets investor Mark Mobius, has raised just half its £200m target at launch.

The management team, which includes Mr Mobius's successor at Franklin Templeton Carlos Hardenberg, have invested £5.7m of their own capital into the trust.

This morning Mr Mobius said: "We want to thank all of our shareholders for their support in the successful IPO of Mobius Investment Trust. This represents a solid endorsement of our strategy, given the challenging sentiment towards emerging and frontier markets.

Article continues after advert

"We now look forward to capitalising on the significant investment opportunity that exists in our target markets."

Emerging market assets have generally performed poorly in 2018 due to the strength of the US dollar and lingering trade disputes.

Jason Hollands, managing director for business development and communications at wealth manager Tilney, said: "Today it has been confirmed that the Mobius Investment Trust, one of the highest profile new investment trust launches in recent years, has raised £100m. This is half of the £200m target sought."

"Mark Mobius [...] has described the fund raise as a solid endorsement of the strategy. In reality there has been a degree of scepticism in the market about what edge the new business might have over and above what the team were able to achieve at their former firm, Franklin Templeton.

"But raising money for a new emerging and frontier market investment fund in the current turbulent environment for these markets was always going to be a challenge. These markets have endured a perfect storm in recent months, rattled by the escalating US-China trade war, pummeled a strengthening US dollar and compounded by a slew of idiosyncratic problems in countries such as Turkey, Argentina and South Africa."

He added that for those investors who had placed capital with the new trust, the Mobius team was starting with a clean sheet of paper and cash to deploy in a market of depressed stock prices, which Mr Hollands described as "not such a bad place to be in".

Seperately, the management of the Octopus AIM VCT announced they were to raise a further £10m. The venture capital trust (VCT) initially aimed to raise £20m this year, but having gathered that in seven weeks, it has decided to seek a further £10m.

Paul Latham, managing director at Octopus Investments, said: "Summer has historically been a slower fundraising period but in the last few years we’ve noticed that financial advisers and investors are starting their financial planning much earlier. This is the fastest we’ve ever raised £20m for our Aim VCTs, which certainly indicates an acceleration in that trend.

"Demand continues to be driven largely by the reduction in the pensions lifetime allowance and changes to the tax regime for buy-to-let, with an increasing number of investors looking for tax efficient alternatives to complement their retirement plans."