Sucheta Dalal :DWS mutual fund invites Indian money for poorly-performing overseas agribusiness fund
Sucheta Dalal

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DWS mutual fund invites Indian money for poorly-performing overseas agribusiness fund  

April 6, 2010

 Deutsche Asset Management today announced the launch of the DWS Global Agribusiness Offshore Fund (DGAOF). Sadly, the past performance of the underlying fund does not lend credence to its investment philosophy.

DWS has launched an open-ended overseas ‘Fund of Funds’ scheme. It will raise money from Indian investors and put it in DWS Invest Global Agribusiness Fund, managed by Deutsche Investment Management, Americas Inc. DGAOF will invest predominantly in units of this underlying fund, which is registered in Luxembourg.

However, the historical performance of the DWS Invest Global Agribusiness Fund is pathetic. Although it has beaten its benchmark index, the MSCI World Index, the actual returns are terrible in the context of exceptional returns that the Indian equity market has offered. Since inception in November 2006, the Fund has provided returns of just 4.18%. Over three years, the performance is even more skewed, with returns of 1.84%.

The Fund’s objective is to generate long-term capital growth by investing predominantly in units of overseas mutual funds, focusing on the anticipated growth in agriculture and would include affiliated and allied sectors.

The rationale behind the Fund’s objective is to capture the opportunity arising out of the pressure on food prices on account of a rising global population and incomes. The likely rise in global food consumption will benefit companies with a strong focus on agri-businesses.

Speaking at the launch, Suresh Soni, CEO, Deutsche Asset Management said, “The DWS Global Agribusiness Offshore Fund invests in that most basic human need: food. That is not novel but our idea to invest in all parts of the agribusiness chain is unique. Not only does this  offer investors an opportunity to diversify their investments beyond the local market, but the global scope and the wide array of sectors that the Fund could invest  in, will potentially help investors benefit from interesting opportunities around the globe.”

DWS Global Agribusiness intends to invest in the entire spectrum of businesses related to food production—from agricultural commodities to consumer products. The Fund intends to invest in companies in land and plantation, seeds and fertilisers, planting, harvesting, protecting and irrigation, food processing and manufacturing companies. — Moneylife Digital Team

-- Sucheta Dalal