April 19, 2006

Marynberg Buys in Venezuela as Chavez Hits Capitalism

Diego Marynberg, manager of the best- performing Latin American fund this year, sees opportunity in Venezuelan stocks where others see danger.

Marynberg's $90 million Geo Equity Opportunities I Ltd., based in the British Virgin Islands and managed from New York and Argentina, is up 31 percent this year. It's the best performance in local currency terms of 134 funds with Latin American equities, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

About 90 percent of the fund is in Venezuelan companies, with the rest in cash. President Hugo Chavez is spending the nation's oil wealth on the poor to solidify his power, raising concern about instability should energy prices drop.

``There is indeed the political risk, but the discount the market is charging for that is just too high,'' Marynberg, 36, said by phone from his Buenos Aires office. ``At the end of the day, Venezuela is the richest country in Latin America.''


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