HB Capital Partners, a company incorporated in the Cayman Islands, has begun marketing the Komodo Fund, which it bills as the first ever international absolute return fund solely focused on Indonesia.

The fund plans to launch on November 1 with a base currency in US dollars, a minimum investment size of $100,000 and quarterly redemptions. The management fee is 1% of net asset value, while the performance fee is 20%.

It will be an actively managed portfolio of predominantly Indonesian investments including listed securities, debt instruments and derivatives that are readily marketable. The fund may also invest in non-Indonesian listed companies which have substantial operations in Indonesia, as well as American depository eceipts, global depository receipts, and exchange-traded funds.

ôIndonesia is the largest economy in Southeast Asia, whose macroeconomic conditions are the best in a decade and improving,ö says James Bryson, one of the managers of the fund. ôMarket valuations relative to growth, are amongst the cheapest in the region, and the economy is insulated from a slowdown in world growth. Relative to the larger Asian and emerging markets, Indonesia is under-researched, providing more opportunities for the disciplined stock-picker.ö

Bryson has worked in the Asian equities business since leaving the British army in 1995. Most of his time in the industry has been spent on the equities sell side in Indonesia, as head of equity sales for BZW Securities, ANZ Securities and then Merrill Lynch Indonesia. After two-and-a-half years with Merill Lynch Hong Kong in a regional research sales and account management role, Bryson returned to Indonesia in mid-2004 to start and run the equities business for PT CIMB Niaga Securities, until mid-2005.

His partner, Roland Haas, started in the fund management industry as an investment analyst at Templeton International Singapore, before joining GT Management Singapore as a fund manager in 1992. Haas was president director at PT Lippo Investment Management from 1994 to 2001. During that period he was the sole manager of the Indonesian Growth Fund.