South Koreas UBS Hana to start $279 mln nickel fund

South Koreas UBS Hana to start $279 mln nickel fund

South Korea’s UBS Hana Asset Management, majority owned by the world’s largest wealth manager, said on Tuesday it will start a 260 billion won fund in December that will invest in a Madagascar nickel mine. South Korea’s government has decided to grant tax breaks to the fund, which will invest more than 70 percent of its money in the metal, the first of its kind in the country.

The government has said it would raise money through raw material development funds as the country seeks to catch up in the race to secure overseas minerals supplies.

The fund targets an annual yield of 6.5-16.6 percent, depending on future nickel prices, output and foreign exchange rates, UBS Hana said in a statement.

The nickel mine, which is located in Ambatovy, Madagascar, is estimated to have 125 million tonnes of nickel ore.

South Korea’s energy ministry expects the mine will produce up to 60,000 tonnes of metal a year from 2010.

The company will hold a conference for investors on Dec. 10 and start sales of the fund from Dec. 12.

UBS has a 51 percent stake in the former Daehan Investment Trust Management, while Hana Financial Group has a 49 percent stake.

Resource-poor South Korea, which has to import 90 percent of its requirements of industrial metals to feed its export-driven economy, is keen to develop mines to make it less vulnerable to soaring global metal prices.

Global nickel prices have fallen 13 percent so far this year after soaring 140 percent last year.


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