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Mongolia: Ulan Bator makes it on to hedge fund map

Ulan Bator has become the latest destination for hedge fund managers, following the creation of the first offshore investment fund to be focused exclusively on Mongolia. The Mongolia Discovery Fund has been established by Alisher Djumanov, formerly of Uzbek investment banking firm Asher Group, who has raised an initial $5 million of seed capital for the new fund, which is being launched by newly established management company Silk Road Fund Management.

Djumanov is hoping to emulate the success of his Central Asia Opportunities Fund, which he launched in November 2006 with just $1 million but which now has more than $65 million under management. The fund invests in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Mongolia, Georgia, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. Thanks to strong regional growth CAOF has returned 85% since inception – making it the best-performing central Asian regional fund in 2007.

Djumanov says he hopes to make the first close on the Mongolia Discovery Fund at $50 million and is ultimately seeking $100 million by the end of this year. He is targeting returns of 50% after the first year, when the fund should be fully invested. Mongolia Discovery Fund will invest primarily in locally listed equities and global depositary receipts.

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