A $400m photography fund opened in Russia last week, offering those looking for alternative investments with an exciting opportunity.
Sobranie.Photoeffect, created by the asset management company Agana, is the first major collectibles fund in the country and contains more than 295,000 original prints worth around $467m.
Works include those by Joseph-Philbert Girault de Prangey and the founder of the Italian paparazzi Tazio Secchiaroli, whose favourite muse was Sophia Loren.
Sobranie.Photoeffect aims to provide a 14% return for investors, who can buy shares in the mutual fund for a minimum investment of $16,700.
Dividends will be paid from yearly sales of around 5% of the collection as well as exhibition fees.
The anticipated 14% return is entirely possible considering a Paul Fraser Collectibles client recently made 112.5% in one year through the sale of a signed Oscar Wilde photograph at auction.
Art expert Anatoly Zlobovsky told the Financial Times: "The Russian financial world has turned to photography because it understands that if giants of business like Bill Gates and Reuters owned collections they should too."
It is likely that more collectibles funds may follow in China, which is quickly emerging as a leading buyer of fine art.
Beautiful Asset Advisors' recent report which tracked the profits of artworks sold at auction in 2010 revealed a 16.6% average return.
Sobranie.Photoeffect's move follows January's announcement that the Dubai-based bank Emirates NBD would work in partnership with London's Fine Art Fund Group to offer consulting advice to banking clients looking to invest in art.