Opalesque Industry Update -
Hedge funds as measured by the Greenwich Global Hedge
Fund Index (“GGHFI”) moved decidedly higher in March to new highs on the year. All Greenwich
hedge fund strategy group advanced during the month. The GGHFI gained 2.95% compared to
global equity returns in the S&P 500 Total Return (+6.03%), MSCI World Equity (+5.93%), and
FTSE 100 (+6.07%) equity indices. 86% of constituent funds in the GGHFI ended the month with
“Long-Short Equity funds led the way higher in March but it is notable that essentially all hedge fund strategies were profitable for the month,” said Clint Binkley, Senior Vice President. “The global rally in equities and sustained global growth has helped improve investor sentiment. We are seeing more funds becoming comfortable with equity markets at these levels.”
Long-Short Equity managers were the hedge fund stars in March, capitalizing on improved market sentiment and economic indicators and advancing 3.92% on average. Growth funds outpaced Value managers by more than 100 basis points as each gained 4.95% and 3.81%, respectively. Opportunistic funds followed with a positive return of 3.32%, perhaps indicating this group of managers had lower net exposures on average during the month than their counterparts.
Market Neutral funds advanced for their third straight month in 2010, gaining 1.95% on average as every sub-strategy posted gains in March. Event-Driven funds were the best performers of the group, advancing 2.61%. Distressed investing funds had a particularly strong month, advancing 4.03%, making the Greenwich Distressed Securities Index the best GAI hedge fund index performer year-to-date. Merger Arbitrage managers also continued to benefit from an improved deal-making environment, advancing 1.52%. Arbitrage strategies posted a modest gain of 32 bps with Convertible Arbitrage and Fixed Income Arbitrage gaining 2.42% and 1.37%, respectively.
Equity Market Neutral managers also experienced an exceptional month, gaining 1.42%, their best performance since June 2008. Directional Trading funds turned in the best month of 2010 (+2.47) in March as both CTA and Macro funds moved higher. Macro funds moved higher as a global rally in equities helped propel the Greenwich Global Macro Index forward by +1.53%. Managed Futures funds also realized gains from rising commodity prices as managers gained 2.81% on average. Systematic strategies performed slightly better than discretionary traders during the month.
The Greenwich Long-Short Credit Index posted its best gain of the year thus far, picking up 1.79%. Multi-Strategy funds also enjoyed positive performance across various hedge fund strategies, as evident by a gain of 2.10% in the Greenwich Multi-Strategy Index.
On a regional level, hedge funds investing in Asian markets were the best performing managers in developed regions, followed by funds investing in North America, with returns of 3.91% and 2.74%, respectively. Managers focused on Europe trailed slightly behind, posting a gain of 2.04%.
Emerging Markets hedge funds moved strongly higher in March, shown by a gain in the Greenwich Composite Emerging Markets Index of 4.71%. Funds investing in Europe were by far the best performers as fears of the Greek fiscal crisis subsided. The Greenwich Emerging Markets Europe Index advanced 8.08% and is now over 12% higher on the year. Emerging Markets Asia funds were the next best sector in terms of performance, advancing 4.16%, followed by Latin American and South American funds, gaining 2.31%.
Full report and performance tables: Source.
The GGHFI is one of the oldest benchmarks of the hedge fund universe. Final Strategy and Regional index results for March will be available late-April, once additional funds have submitted returns. Past performance and indices construction rules for all Greenwich Hedge Fund Indices may be viewed at www.greenwichai.com.