Beverly Chandler, Opalesque London: GFIA, the specialist alternatives research firm, focussed on Asia, Latin America and frontier emerging markets, has published a review of the hedge fund industry in Asia. The firm has been researching the industry in Asia since 1998 when the industry operated on an intimate scale, with most participants knowing each other personally and characterised, as GFIA puts it, by investment specialists rather than financial entrepreneurs.
Globally, allocators hunting for new territories to exploit in the hedge fund world began to research Asian hedge funds in 2003 and 2004 and began to make allocations, largely to the better known managers, due to the allocators’ need for comfort.
In 2005, GFIA counted 136 hedge funds with more than US$200m under management and the firm reports that by the end of 2007, Asiahedge reported 35 hedge funds with over US$1bn of hedged assets run from Asia. Problems arrived in 2008 across the world and were no less serious in Asia. "Performance was no protection
against redemption. Larger funds were hit harder than most, and many firm’s AUM
were more than halved. Funds running more liquid strategies (of which Asia had a larger
proportion) were easy targets for "ATM-effect" redemptions, and experienced greater
outflows than (generally much larger) illiquid funds. The number of fund closures spiked
and several global firms exited the region" GFIA says.
The Asian ......................
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