Thu, Jul 30, 2015
A A A
Welcome Guest
Free Trial RSS
Get FREE trial access to our award winning publications
Industry Updates

Japanese hedge funds have taken advantage of market mayhem, posted decent returns by betting on liquid stocks

Thursday, February 18, 2010
Opalesque Industry Update - Hedge Funds: Big in Japan alright

Although it may seem that the Sun may be setting on Japan’s economy, the same cannot be said for the country’s hedge funds. Amidst the turmoil in the Japanese economy, which have seen major conglomerates like Japan Airlines file for bankruptcy, Japanese hedge funds have taken advantage of the mayhem in the markets and posted decent returns by betting on liquid stocks.

And if a Bloomberg report is to be believed, this seems to be just the beginning for Japanese hedge funds investments. Frederic Eechaute, has led his Japanese hedge fund which was launched in the first week of December to post a 13 per cent return as of 22 January 2010.

So with the markets still unstable, how will hedge fund managers plan to tap into over 1,400 trillion yen worth financial assets owned by Japanese individuals?

Makoto Uraga, managing Director of Wealth Bay Investment, an independent advisory specializing in Japanese equities launched in September last year, believes that lower volatility coupled with higher returns is the key for luring investors.

“The Lehman shock hurt individual investors and they shifted their money from equities to safer assets such as bonds or bank savings. However, Japan's interest rates are still ultra-low and long only funds do not appeal to them because of their high risk profile. Our long-short strategy with an annual return objective of 15 per cent to 20 per cent with lower volatility should appeal to them,” he said.

But low volatility and high returns are not the only factors that will lure retail investors to hedge funds, according to Uraga the less complicated the product the better. “Unlike complicated structured products, our service is quite simple and transparent which should appeal to individual investors as well. They are sick and tired of financial products and services which are high-return but high-risk without enough disclosure and liquidity. Our customers can terminate the contract within 10 days from the outset of the contract or with one month notice even after this period passes,” said Uraga.

Bleak Japanese economy

And Uraga, who has over twenty years worth of experience in equities, thinks that the instability in the market and the possible occurrence of a "Black Swan" could suit Wealth Bay Investments approach to investing in the Japanese market.

“Until recently passive managers had been becoming more popular than active managers and stock prices do not reflect each individual company's fundamentals properly. However, recently we saw the difference in movement between the Tokyo stock Price IndeX (TOPIX) which comprises of more global firms and the Nikkei Index which comprises of mostly domestic firms, because stock prices start reflecting companies' fundamentals.”

“Although the Japanese stock market may be going sideways reflecting a sluggish Japanese economy, those companies that can capture the growing Asian demands may outperform those which cannot as Japan is luckily positioned near quickly growing Asian countries. Therefore, we think a long-short strategy should work in this environment and our years of investment expertise with stellar track record can be exploited,” he said.

And Kunio Tomiyama, the Chief Executive Officer of Wealth Bay Investments believes that Japanese stock will trump structured bonds when it comes to investors’ choice. “We find the long-short products with a steady 15 percent yield to be most attractive. Investors will also find more comfort in dealing with Japanese stock than the structured bonds,” he said.

But in terms of investment philosophy, Wealth Bay Investment is choosing a different path than most management companies. “Our investment philosophy is to focus on a few stocks with low volatility and stable yields. Most management companies will choose a diverse investment with risk management as their key focus. The basic management philosophy is different,” he said Whatever the management philosophy, it seems that Japanese hedge funds are not only beginning to creep back into the market but also post decent returns, telling us for now at least, hedge funds are big in Japan.


This article was sent to Opalesque by IQPC Worldwide Pte Ltd (www.iqpc.com.sg).

It is being issued ahead of the 4th Annual Hedge Fund Investment Japan Congress. Japanese investors and the international hedge fund community will once again meet together in Tokyo in May 2010. IQPC today announced the dates for its 4th Hedge Fund Investments Congress to be held 24-26 May 2010.

www.hedgefundinvestmentsjapan.com.


Bg

What do you think?

   Use "anonymous" as my name    |   Alert me via email on new comments   |   
Today's Exclusives Today's Other Voices More Exclusives
Previous Opalesque Exclusives                                  
More Other Voices
Previous Other Voices                                               
Access Alternative Market Briefing


  • Top Forwarded
  • Top Tracked
  • Top Searched
  1. Bridgewater turns bearish on China[more]

    Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia: The world’s biggest hedge fund Bridgewater Associates and one of the most vocal of China’s potential is now turning its back against the world’s second largest economy as it joins a growing list of high-profile investors who are challenging China’s potentials.

  2. Opalesque Exclusive: Despite bumpy June/July, CTAs hold on[more]

    Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York: To say that things have been rocky in managed futures recently is putting it mildly. In June, the industry saw its worst month on a performance basis in the past four years. Then yesterday,

  3. Launches - Ex-Brevan Howard star Rokos builds team for new fund, Former Och-Ziff manager’s firm starts health care hedge fund, Industry veterans launch commodity investment firm Aron Capital Management, Nikko Asset Management launches two UCITS funds, Capital Group plans to debut Asian investor targeted fund[more]

    Ex-Brevan Howard star Rokos builds team for new fund From WSJ.com: Chris Rokos, a former star trader at Brevan Howard Asset Management LLP, has hired an economist from Nomura to join the team he’s assembling for his much anticipated hedge fund launch. Mr. Rokos, whose firm is due to b

  4. Institutions - Pension fund dismisses Texas consultant, Rhode Island pension fund gets 2.2% investment return, far below assumed rate of 7.5%, New Jersey pension investments see a drop-off in returns[more]

    Pension fund dismisses Texas consultant From Sandiegouniontribute.com: The county retirement board on Thursday terminated the Texas consultant who was given the reins of the $10 billion pension fund, and whose investment picks left many employees and retirees feeling taken for a ride.

  5. SWFs - Sovereign wealth funds paid around $14 billion in fees[more]

    From SWFinstitute.org: When it comes to the financial sector, asset management is one of the most profitable industries in the world. The Boston Consulting Group put out a 2014 figure saying there is US$ 74 trillion worth of professionally-managed assets. One of the fastest growing institutional inv

 

banner