They’ve already got funds for Chinese Contemporary and Middle Eastern art but they’re not speculators. At the risk of beating the speculation topic to death. Here’s another interesting example of the speculator as straw man stalking the art market. When an art fund–which is by definition speculative in nature–suggests that there’s too much speculative buying in a market, you know there’s trouble. This story comes from India’s Economic Times:
The UK-based Fine Fund Group — headed by entrepreneur, art investor and collector Philip Hoffman — is waiting for the market to ‘stabilise’ before launching its Indian Fine Fund. The fund, which is tipped to be structured as a 5-year close-ended product pegged at $15-25 million, will focus on parking funds in ‘high quality’ modern and contemporary Indian art, Indian miniatures and Anglo-Indian paintings. [ . . . ] “We believe the market saw a great deal of speculative purchasing in 2007-08 and we would like to see the market consolidate before entering for investment purposes. Nevertheless, we do believe that excellent works of modern and contemporary Indian art will come for sale, both privately and at auctions. We will take an interest, and will also consider co-investing in works with important Indian collectors based in India and abroad,” he added. [ . . . ] “When compared to the Western contemporary art market, there is clearly potential for an increase in price. We believe that modern and contemporary Indian art has long been undervalued as compared to other areas of the art market. There’s a high level of creativity and talent in India, which is going to make this market move even further,” Mr Hoffman said. “Like all other asset classes, Indian art prices have reasonably corrected from its 2007 highs. I strongly feel that it is a good time to invest in Indian art to get a decent return with a 3-5 year investment horizon,” said Purrshottam Bhaggeria, the Fund’s strategic partner in India.
Country May Soon Get Its First Fine Art Fund (Economic Times)