RAS Launches India-Focused Fund Of Funds

Feb 8 2007 | 12:05pm ET

New York and Mumbai-based RAS Capital Management has recently launched an Indian-focused fund of hedge funds. The RAS India Fund-of-Funds, which has onshore and an offshore version, was launched in November and was up 4.3% in its first month, 2.56% in December and an estimated 2% last month, according to public databases.

At any given time, the fund allocates to between nine and 12 underlying global mangers, many of whom are relatively unknown or undiscovered, including some that are closed to new investors. The underlying funds have a standard deviation of half of the NIFTY / MSCI India indices, according to the firm. Its multi-strategy approach combines fundamental long/short equity, PIPES, event/ risk arbitrage, multi-strategy arbitrage and distressed debt.

Co-founder Robert Rahbari likes the fundamentals and current growth of the Indian market. “We’re very bullish long-term in general but we don’t think that the equities will do 40% a year like it’s been but there are still some 20% plus years ahead of us,” said Rahbari.

“Infrastructure build-out is going to be huge for the economy and the burgeoning middle class is starting to have more disposable income, which will create a very strong domestic economy that will drive all sorts of different industries. We just love the fundamentals of a highly educated, English speaking, Democratic government, so we’re very excited long term about the prospects.”

Rahbari, who declined to disclose the vehicle’s fees and minimum investment requirement citing SEC marketing restrictions, also mentioned that the firm plans to offer more India-focused, arbitrage-specific, private equity and real estate vehicles within the next few years.

RAS was founded in June 2006 by Rohit Aggarwal, a former executive director with Oppenheimer & Company, Robert Rahbari, a former director and chief compliance officer at Ferro Capital, and Anand Sekaran, founder and portfolio manager of Wasson Capital Advisors.

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