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Capital flows into Asian hedge funds continue as inflation fears build

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Kenneth J Heinz
Opalesque Industry Update - Asian hedge funds attracted $500 million in net new capital in 4Q 2010, with investors favoring strategies offering protection against what many see as an accelerating inflation trend across the region, according to Hedge Fund Research, Inc. (HFR), the leading provider of hedge fund industry data. Inclusive of performance gains, assets invested in Asia-focused hedge funds increased by $4.4 billion during the quarter, to $83.4 billion, the biggest increase since 3Q 2009. For the full year 2010, assets invested in Asian-focused funds grew by $6.6 billion, the largest calendar year increase since 2007.

In spite of rising commodity prices and growing fears of inflation, Asian hedge funds posted gains in both 4Q10 and for the full year 2010, narrowly outperforming the broad hedge fund industry. In 4Q10, the HFRX Japan Index climbed +5.87 percent, leading other Asian regions on both a nominal and relative performance basis. For the full year 2010, funds focused on investing in inflation-sensitive India posted the strongest gains, with the HFRX India Index gaining +15.47 percent. The HFRX China Index gained +9.37 percent for 2010, trailing other Asian and Emerging Markets for the full year, but preserving capital from the declines and volatility that characterized broader Chinese equity markets. Across all Emerging Markets, the HFRI Emerging Markets (Total) Index gained +12.0 percent for 2010, ahead of the +10.3 percent increase for the HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index, a broad-based measure of performance across the entire hedge fund industry.

Investor inflows focus on Asian Equity and Event Driven strategies
Investors allocated new capital to funds which characteristically have provided inflation protection and exposure to the developing market for cross-border corporate transactions globally. In 4Q, 35 percent of new investor inflows went to funds focused on Asian equity markets (Equity Hedge). Similarly, for the full year, investors allocated $765 million to Event Driven Asian hedge funds, which include Distressed and Activist strategies. A combination of performance losses and redemptions reduced the capital allocated to Asian Relative Value funds, a countertrend to the rest of the global hedge fund industry. Of the four major strategies tracked by HFR, Relative Value funds globally experienced the largest capital inflows and produced the highest returns in 2010, furthering highlighting the disconnect between Relative Value strategies in Asia and the rest of the world; Relative Value funds characteristically employ hedged fixed income positions and utilize variable levels of leverage to execute on their convergence trades.

“Investors continue to allocate to Asian hedge funds but now, more than ever, have indicated a strong and clear requirement for inflation protection in their hedge fund strategies,” said Kenneth J. Heinz, President of Hedge Fund Research, Inc (HFR). “To meet this demand, the Asian hedge fund industry has evolved to offer access to not only hedged equity strategies, but sophisticated currency, commodity, volatility, corporate transaction and fixed income exposures designed to appeal to inflation-sensitive investors in 2011.”

(press release)

HFR is pleased to announce that starting from 2Q11, HFR Asian office will be established in China to better servicing increasing Asian client inquiries about hedge fund industry. Jia (Josh) Gu will be relocated to China and in charge of HFR business development...Corporate website: Source

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