Opalesque Industry Update - Hedge funds began 2013 with clearly positive results, returning an average of +2.45% in January. 80% of the Greenwich Global Hedge Fund Index constituents posted positive returns in January. Even so, many hedge fund managers seem to be maintaining caution going into 2013 as several issues remain unsettled, namely the European sovereign debt crisis, the US debt ceiling and continued unrest in the Middle East and Asia. The GGHFI average trailed strong January returns in the S&P 500 (+5.18%) and MSCI World (+5.00%) equity indices.
Global Index Strategy Highlights
The Long-Short Equity Group outperformed all other hedge fund strategies in January, up an average of +3.66%. The Growth strategy posted a particularly strong start to 2013, up +3.93%, though Opportunistic (+3.50%) and Value (+3.37%) strategies were not far behind. Short-Biased managers continued to struggle against the uptrend, losing -5.64%.
Event-Driven strategies were the runners up in January averaging +2.28%. Merger Arbitrage was the only negative performer in the group (-0.89%) due to limited M&A activity. Distressed Securities strategies were up +2.85% and Diversified Event-Driven similarly were up +2.81%.
On a regional basis, managers investing in Asian markets were the top performers in January, whether they were focused on Developed (+4.04%) or Emerging (+4.08%) regions. This robust performance is particularly impressive in the face of expectations of slower economic growth for some of the region’s major economies in 2013 and a downwardly spiraling Japanese Yen.
Overall, Emerging Market strategies (+3.92%) outperformed Developed Market strategies (+2.35%) in January. The Emerging Europe region led the way, up +4.67%.