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Burbankís Global Strategy Fund Rises 24% on Fertilizer Stakes

Date: Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Author: Saijel Kishan, Bloomberg

John Burbank IIIís Global Strategy hedge fund rose 24 percent in May, its biggest monthly return in almost two years, as investments in fertilizer companies surged.

The $1.5 billion fund, the largest run by Burbankís San Francisco-based Passport Management LLC, is up 33 percent this year, according to a letter to investors. Hedge funds on average rose 3.1 percent in May and 5.6 percent this year, according to the HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index.

Passport, which oversees $2.4 billion, holds stakes in Mosaic Co., North Americaís second-largest crop-nutrient producer by market value, and Jordan Phosphate Mines Co., based in Amman, Jordan. Plymouth, Minnesota-based Mosaic jumped 35 percent last month, while Jordan Phosphate climbed 43 percent.

Mary Beth Grover, a spokeswoman for Passport, declined to comment on the letter, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News.

Passportís Global Strategy fund plunged 51 percent last year, the first annual loss since it started in August 2000. The fund, which more than tripled in 2007, has returned an annualized 28 percent since inception, according to the letter.

Prior to starting Passport in 2000, Burbank worked for a year as a consultant for JMG Capital Partners LP, a Los Angeles- based hedge-fund firm. He was research director for ValueVest Management from 1996 to 1998.

To contact the reporter on this story: Saijel Kishan in New York at skishan@bloomberg.net;