Permal Ups Macro Bets, Mulls Doubling Down On Asia

Jul 14 2010 | 12:20pm ET

Permal Asset Management has doubled its allocation to discretionary macro hedge funds and may do the same to Asian hedge funds.

The Legg Mason fund of hedge funds unit, which manages $21 billion, increased its discretionary macro allocation from 10% to 20% over the past year, CEO Isaac Souede told Bloomberg News. Permal’s stable of more than 30 funds of funds and managed account products have increased their bets on macro strategies by about 20% to $8 billion this year alone.

It may do the same for its Asia allocations, Souede said, increasing them from between 10% and 15% to between 20% and 25%. The firm launched a China fund in April, and already allocates assets to 43 Asia-focused hedge funds.

“The macroeconomic conditions were actually negative from the beginning of the year until about four weeks ago for Chinese equity markets and emerging markets,” Souede said. “Now Europe is in economic decline and China is close enough to a soft landing. Chinese markets will become more interesting.”


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