Epack bounces back to profit

Keli GadzekpoKeli GadzekpoGhana’s biggest mutual investment fund, Epack, has bounced back from a poor 2011 showing to close at GH¢1.0291 per share, up from the GH¢0.8773 recorded in 2011.

The fund gained 17.31 per cent in cedi terms but actually lost some negative 1.4 per cent in dollar terms, which its Executive Chairman, Keli Gadzekpo, attributes to the depreciation of the cedi in 2012.

This reflects the impressive performance of most African stock markets, including Ghana, particularly in the last quarter of 2012.

While Epack’s exposure to Malawi and Mauritius reduced on the back of currency weakness, its holdings in Nigeria surged up by 165 per cent due to a combination of stock purchases of 39 per cent increase and share price rallies.

Again, the fund’s holding in the banking sector also surged to 53 per cent despite the profit taking undertaken during the year.

As at December 2012, the fund had invested in 11 stock markets in Africa and is expected to concentrate on sectors with strong fundamentals.

The balanced fund, which is cedi investment medium to long-term fund, has also recorded an annual return of 16.8 per cent, up from the 7.35 per cent it recorded in 2011.

The fund closed the year with a total of 6,233 shareholders. The fixed income market is expected to return considerable gains as interest continued to remain high in the first quarter of 2013.

The money market fund(MFund) also closed the year at an annualised yield of 14.8 per cent, which was an improvement of the 2011 yield of 12.18 per cent.

Unfortunately, the return on MFund was lower than the average annual yield of the 91-Day T- bills of 18.63 per cent. MFund’s yield was low due to the fact that T-bill rate rose very quickly in 2012 from 10.81 per cent at the start of the year to 12.61 per cent in March 2012.

Ark Fund, on the other hand, rode on the back of increased stock returns and interest rates in 2012 to record a return of 16.39 per cent in 2012. This was an improvement over the 2011 return of 5.88 per cent.

The fund ended the year with assets under management worth GH¢2.6 million. The total number of shareholders of the Ark Fund also increased by 493 shareholders.

By Suleiman Mustapha/Daily Graphic/Ghana

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