New oil and gas fund launched

Prosperity Capital Management, one of the top Western Russia-dedicated funds, said on Thursday it was launching a new open-ended oil and gas fund to help global oil investors tap the country's vast energy wealth. "It's directed mainly to fairly large institutions who have a sector focus, who have someone responsible for oil and may not be able to buy a (general) fund but can buy an oil fund," said Chief Investment Officer Mattias Westman, whose funds are ranked as some of the world's best performers.

The new fund, which should help non-emerging markets funds get a foothold in Russia, will be co-managed by Alexander Branis, who also co-manages a utilities fund and sits on the board of Ruissia's national energy grid RAO UES. Among potential top picks, Westman said Prosperity's current funds included large positions in oil majors YUKOS and Sibneft, as well as preferred shares in Surgutneftegaz and companies in the TNK group, the Russia Journal reported.