Mauritius Suspends Quantum Funds After Angola Official Visit

(Bloomberg) -- The seven Quantum Global Group funds that had their licenses suspended by Mauritius’s financial-services regulator followed presentations made by a high-ranking Angolan official to the Mauritian government, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Quantum Global Group was founded by Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, a Swiss-Angolan entrepreneur. Swiss newspaper Le Matin Dimanche reported Nov. 5 that about $3 billion of Angola’s wealth fund, known by the acronym FSDEA, were invested in seven investment funds in Mauritius managed by a unit of Quantum.

The suspension of the Africa-focused funds on Sunday follows a Mauritian Supreme Court order on April 7 that froze 25 Quantum Global accounts in three Mauritian banks, Le Dimanche/L’Hebdo newspaper reported Sunday. Assets withheld are worth between 5 billion rupees ($147.9 million) and 7 billion rupees, one of the people said, who declined to be identified because they can’t publicly comment on the matter.

Bastos de Morais received an annual fee of 2 percent to 2.5 percent of capital under management per year, or $60 million to $70 million, the Swiss newspaper said. A Luanda-based spokesman for Bastos de Morais wasn’t immediately available to comment.

“We look forward to having an opportunity to provide the authorities with the necessary assurances to continue to conduct our investment activities as we have not been involved in the recent review process,” Quantum Global said in an emailed response to queries.

Sovereign Fund

Quantum Global said it was in touch with the relevant authorities and would have a detailed update on the matter in the coming days, according to an emailed statement over the weekend.

The FSDEA was previously run by Jose Filemeno dos Santos. Angola’s state prosecutor has charged the son of former President Jose Eduardo dos Santos with money laundering for allegedly transferring $500 million from the country’s central bank to the London branch of a Swiss bank. Dos Santos said last month he was cooperating with authorities.

The Angolan president’s spokesman, Luis Fernando, asked for emailed questions on the matter.

“Quantum Global Group reiterates that neither the group, in its role as asset manager for the FSDEA, nor its founder were a party to the reported $500 million transaction that is currently subject to an investigation by the Angolan authorities,” the company said in the emailed statement.

The suspended closed-end funds in Mauritius are: QG Africa Agriculture L.P., QG Africa Healthcare L.P., QG Africa Mezzanine L.P., QG African Infrastructure 1 L.P., QG Africa Timber L.P., QG Africa Hotel L.P. and QG Africa Mining L.P.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.