Italy’s Comoi Group launched a closed-end fund targeting Italian SMEs’ export credits which aims to raise 500 million euros from institutional investors. The project has been presented yesterday in Milan in a press conference (download here the press release).
This is the first fund of this kind in Europe and it is structured as a sub-fund of Luxembourg’s Comoi Fund Sca Sif Sicav managed by Comoi Fund Management sa whose advisor is Comoi sim spa, both controlled by Comoi Group, an independent group active in the financial services and advisory sector with headquarters in Italy, Switzerland and Luxembourg (download here the technical brochure about the fund). The fund was structured also thanks to the support of Ref ricerche, an Italian well-known advisory company led by economist Giacomo Vaciago who also sits in Comoi Group’s advisory board.
More in detail, the fund will invest in letters of credit or promissory notes issued by foreign banks who guarantee payments by their clients to Italian exporterer SMEs, explained yesterday Comoi Group’s ceo Sergio Zoncada and Comoi sim’s managing director Gerardo Stigliani. The targeted export credits will be insured by Italy’s SACE, the leading Italian export credit insurance company, and will range from 800k euro to 3-4 million each.
The fund will then acquire letters of credits from Italian SMEs which will obtain straight away the cash instead of waiting for all the instalments to be paid by their commercial debtor. The fund, Comoi’s managers said, will pay a higher sum than the one commercial banks use to pay for such deals but will anyway guarantee its investors a yield higher than the one paid by sovereign and corporate bonds of the same rating of the assets included in the fund which will be all investment grade with a very low default rate (0.07%). The average targeted yield for investors will be 6-7% net of all fees.
The average maturity of the fund’s portfolio will be 4.25 years while the fund ends in 2033 but investrors will be allowed to exit their investment in some specific windows during the fund’s life.
Taregeted investors in the fund are expecially insurance companies and pension funds. Sergio Corbello, the chairman of Assoprevidenza, Italy’s association of pension funds, intervening at the press conference, said this kind of investment is very interesting for its associated funds as it pays interesting yields with a limited risk.