QUARTERLY UPDATE AFRICAN MULTI-ALPHA FUND

During the month of December, the Silk Road Frontiers Fund was changed to its new name Silk African Multi-Alpha Fund.  

As part of a broader repositioning, we have refocused the Silk Road Frontiers Market fund on Africa and have redefined the strategy as a more concentrated unconstrained investment strategy. 

The new Africa Multi-Alpha fund will be uniquely positioned to give investors access to the most promising investment ideas and will have a total return approach where it can invest in fixed income instruments in periods of market volatility. 

The investment strategy takes the form of a high-conviction portfolio that will invest across the market cap spectrum in Africa while maintaining its daily liquidity. The fund will aim to generate sustainable long-term alpha across asset classes with lower volatility.

Highlights

Global growth is expected to slow in 2019 with the World Bank lowering its global GDP forecast to 2.9% in 2019 and 2.8% for 2020.

Egypt’s economy is primed for 2019 with a combination of stable GDP growth, firm interest rates and further fiscal measures to rein in the budget deficit. Economic growth is expected to remain robust at +5%, thanks to a strong recovery in tourism, gas production and public investment. These have largely been l the same driving forces in the economy for the past two years. 

Morocco’s 2019 draft budget forecasts a narrowing of the deficit to 3.3% of GDP in 2019, down from 3.8% expected in 2018, while the economic growth is forecasted at 3.2%, versus 3.6% in 2018. We remain positive in the GCC region with most countries recent budget announcements for 2019 highlighting growth trends despite unstable oil prices. 

Saudi Arabia will continue to focus on fiscal stimulus with total spending expected to grow by 7% YoY, tilted towards more capital spending.

In Asia, Bangladesh has had a strong rebound post elections, given the ruling party’s win further consolidated its political powers. With the government’s pro-growth and investment friendly policies, the economy is expected to achieve 7% GDP growth. 

We anticipate that Bangladesh and Vietnam’s textile sectors will continue to benefit from the US-China trade war. 

The Pakistani government has formally announced the IMF program, but is taking its time to negotiate more flexible terms.  Another mini budget is expected to be announced on 23rd January to improve the revenue collection and to bolster exports.

The run-up to Argentinian elections in October 2019 will increase attention on Macri, recent economic set-backs and the local corruption scandals.  .