Nile Capital Management is pleased to announce the first quarter 2011 performance update for its Nile Pan Africa Fund (NASDAQ: NAFAX), an actively managed mutual fund that focuses exclusively on the continent of Africa.
During the first quarter of 2011, the Nile Pan Africa Fund fell -3.97%. During the same time period, the MSCI Frontier Markets Index fell -5.49%, the Dow Jones Africa 50 Titans Index fell -4.18%, and the S&P Total Return Index advanced +5.92%. Since its inception on April 28, 2010, the Nile Pan Africa Fund has returned +18.40%, while the MSCI Frontier Markets Index returned +5.13%, the Dow Jones Africa 50 Titans Index advanced +8.58%, and the S&P 500 was up +13.41%.
The Fund's performance in the first quarter was challenged by the effects of political unrest, most notably in Egypt (our only North African exposure). The Egyptian market was closed from January 27th to March 23rd, and re-opened significantly lower than its January levels. The Fund was thus adversely impacted by the correction, and attributes a significant portion of its weakness in the first quarter to its Egyptian exposure. However, although the political upheaval in Egypt caused short term turbulence in markets, we believe the long term impact of an improved and more stable political system will be beneficial for long term growth.
We believe our investment case for Africa continues to be underpinned by both global and regional growth dynamics. Although Advanced economies have outperformed Emerging and frontier markets in the first quarter of 2011, we believe that their long term growth is constrained by large fiscal and budget deficits, and these economies will have to raise taxes or cut spending to improve their fiscal conditions. In addition, monetary policy pursuing low short term interest rates (or 'quantitative easing') and dollar depreciation as a method to stimulate aggregate demand will lead to capital outflows to Emerging economies in search of higher yielding assets. As a result of these policy measures, we continue to believe Advanced economies will experience lower long term growth. Although in recent months positive data has implied a better than expected recovery in the US, the IMF believes that Advanced economies overall will grow by approximately 2.4% annualized over the next five years.
On the other hand, Africa's growth is projected to be in excess of 5.4 % annualized in the next five years according to the IMF. In fact, the IMF has projected that Nigeria (the second largest Sub-Saharan economy) will experience GDP growth for the next five years in excess of 7% annualized, with the potential to do even better on the back of sustained high oil prices. A number of African countries have pursued stable monetary economic policies, and have better fiscal balances and low leverage. We believe this macroeconomic background continues to support the case for investing in Africa's stock markets. In addition, we continue to believe that demand for natural resources and agricultural commodities, the need for infrastructure investment, and growing consumer demand will continue to be drivers on the continent. If anything, we feel that recent weakness presents a compelling opportunity for long term investors to enter Africa's markets.
Nile Pan Africa Fund
To learn more about investing in Africa, please visit http://nilecapital.com.
For additional performance information, please click here, http://www.nilefunds.com/Performance.html.
The table below shows the performance of the fund relative to several benchmark indices.
Nile Pan Africa Fund (NAFAX) Performance, First Quarter 2011
As of March 31, 2011. Inception Date is April 28, 2010.
|Fund Name||2011 Q1||Since Inception|
|Nile Pan Africa Fund (NAFAX)||-3.97%||18.40%|
|Dow Jones Africa Titans 50 Index||-4.18%||8.58%|
|MSCI Frontier Markets Index||-5.49%||5.13%|
|S&P 500 Total Return||5.92%||13.41%|
The performance data quoted here represents past performance. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data quoted above. Investment return and principal value will fluctuate, so that shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. As stated in the current prospectus, the Fund's total annual operating expense ratio (gross) is 4.17% for Class A shares. The Fund's investment adviser has contractually agreed to reduce its fees and/or absorb expenses of the fund, at least until July 31, 2011, to ensure that the Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Fee Waiver (exclusive of any acquired fund fees and expenses, borrowing costs, taxes and extraordinary expenses) will not exceed 2.50% for Class A shares, subject to possible recoupment from the Fund in future years. Please review the Fund's prospectus for more detail on the expense waiver. Results shown reflect the waiver, without which the results could have been lower. A Fund's performance, especially for very short periods of time, should not be the sole factor in making your investment decisions. For performance information current to the most recent month-end, please call toll-free 1-877-68-AFRICA.
Investors should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the Nile Pan Africa Fund. This and other important information about the Fund is contained in the prospectus, which can be obtained by calling 1-877-68-AFRICA. The prospectus should be read carefully before investing. The Nile Pan Africa Fund is distributed by Northern Lights Distributors, LLC member FINRA. Nile Capital Management, LLC is not affiliated with Northern Lights Distributors, LLC.
Mutual Funds involve risk, including possible loss of principal. Because the Fund will invest the majority of its assets in African companies, it is highly dependent on the state of the African economy and the financial prospects of specific African companies. Certain African markets are in only the earliest stages of development and may experience political and economic instability, capital market restrictions, unstable governments, weaker economies and less developed legal systems with fewer security holder rights. Adverse changes in currency exchange rates may erode or reverse any potential gains from the Fund's investments. ETF's are subject to specific risks, depending on the nature of the underlying strategy of the fund. These risks could include liquidity risk, sector risk, as well as risks associated with fixed income securities, real estate investments, and commodities, to name a few. Non-diversification risk, as the Funds are more vulnerable to events affecting a single issuer. Investments in underlying funds that own small and mid-capitalization companies may be more vulnerable than larger, more established organizations.
Dow Jones Africa Titans 50 Index: Measures the stock performance of 50 leading companies that are headquartered or generate the majority of their revenues in Africa. Stocks are selected to the index by float-adjusted market capitalization, subject to screens for size and liquidity. Standard Deviation: Measures the degree of variation of monthly returns around the mean (average) return. The higher the volatility of the investment returns, the higher the standard deviation will be. The S&P 500 Index: An unmanaged composite of 500 large capitalization companies. The index is widely used by professional investors as a performance benchmark for large-cap stocks. The MSCI Frontier Markets Index: A market-capitalization weighted index of 26 emerging market country indices. You cannot invest directly in an index.