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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hermitage to Open New Fund Next Month

Hermitage Capital Management, the largest foreign portfolio investor in the country, is due to open a new fund on April 2 that will take its focus from Russia to emerging markets around the globe, CEO William Browder said Monday.

Browder has been barred entry to Russia since November 2005 on grounds he poses a threat to national security, after years of working for ­minority shareholder rights and ­corporate governance practices within companies like Gazprom and ­Surgutneftegaz.

"We have no intention of reducing our commitment in terms of human or intellectual resources," Browder said in a letter to investors, but did not mention whether Hermitage would reduce the amount it manages in Russia. Browder said that through the Hermitage Fund and additional accounts, investments amounted to $2.8 billion.

The fund has been decreasing its presence in Russia since Browder was barred. When news of his problems broke last March, Hermitage had $2.9 billion under management and $1.9 billion in other accounts.

The new fund, called Hermitage Global, will invest in public equities in Latin America, the Middle East and Asia, Browder said.

Browder said in the letter that he had "absolutely not" changed his outlook on Russian markets. "There is no single country that offers as many opportunities on such a consistent basis as Russia," he said.

Browder said investment in the fund would be limited to current Hermitage clients.