Category Archives: Bangladesh

Frontier Markets Opportunities and Risks, Bloomberg Edition

As part of last month’s Bloomberg Dealmakers Summit in London, the following roundtable took place, featuring Timur Issatayev of Verny Capital, Parag Saxena of New Silk Route LLC and Danladi Verheijen of Verod Capital Management. It’s 22 minutes and all worth it, but if you want the single most profound statement for my time, fast-forward to 15:10, when Parag Saxena has the following to say when asked about investment risks in South Asia:

“If you stay away from purely government-granted things you can probably do all right but sometimes that is where the opportunity is so it’s hard. To me the big surprise that I learned in India, having been in the investment business for 31 years and thinking that I have made already most of the mistakes that I was going to make in my investment life, the one that surprised me in India, and I know it’s true in Pakistan and Bangladesh too, is the lack of talent. So when I invest in the U.S., which I continue to do, I know that even for a pretty tough to fill job, in 120 days to 180 days I can fill almost any job. And so typically now at my age, I get resumes from my friends’ children. I used to get them from my friends at one point and now I get them from my friends’ children. And in the US I think it’s going to be hard to actually place them because there is so much talent available for a limited number of jobs. In India, I find myself grabbing every resume because I can hire baristas for somebody that wants a summer internship job, we have a restaurant company and cellular tower company and we need CEOs, so I can hire CEOs for those companies, and everything in between. So the biggest surprise to me, and the opportunity, is training for lower level jobs. And that’s a real unexpected risk, because time is the enemy of internal rate of return and if it’s going to take you more time to fill these slots and you can’t get stuff done, you have a real problem.”

Here’s the video in full:

Caravel Management makes a case for Frontier Markets

You may have heard by now that the jig is up on the BRIC acronym as an investment class. But we’ll all still have to spend at least another couple years discussing how it doesn’t work, so if you’re just getting used to BRIC, fear not, you can still throw that one around and give the appearance of knowing what you’re talking about.

In any event, I have a new investment theme acronym. This is better than CIVETS (Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey, South Africa), MIST (Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey), PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Spain), CASSH (Canada, Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, Hong Kong) and even SWAG (Silver, Wine, Art, Gold).

Ready? Here it is: VIMBENT.

You heard that here first.

Vietnam
Indonesia
Mexico
Bangladesh
Egypt
Nigeria
Turkey

These, apparently, are the countries New York-based Caravel Management is invested in, according to a Bloomberg interview with portfolio manager Caglar Somek earlier this week:

There’s only so much one can fit into a six-minute segment, so to the credit of both interviewer and interviewee, here’s what seem to be the main ideas behind the VIMBENT strategy:
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