Exclusive: Falcone Launching Asia Fund

Aug 6 2010 | 3:37pm ET

By Teri Buhl, Contributor

Phil Falcone's Harbinger Capital is launching a Pan Asia fund next month, FINalternatives has learned. According to people close to the hedge fund firm, the vehicle will focus on special situation opportunities and has already received a $500 million commitment from one large investor.

This will be the hedge fund titan's first foray into the region. Falcone will be managing the investment himself out of his New York Office. The fund is still open to investors.

Hedgefund.net's Asia Index, which tracks over 600 funds that invest in the region, shows that last year the average return for the sector was 21.91%, but this year the index has barely gained ground, returning only 1% year-to-date through July.

Some of Harbinger's funds have been hit by negative performance lately, but according to investors, it’s not all a downer. FINalternatives has learned that Harbinger’s Blue Line fund has returned 6.13% year-to-date through July 31 and its Breakaway fund is up 6.61% for the same period.

It’s been a busy week for Falcone, who’s showing the street just how diverse he can play the market. Yesterday he signed a deal, for a discount to its recent value, to buy the U.S. unit of insurance company Old Mutual for $350 million. Clusterstock, which was first to report about the acquisition, noted that Falcone has been eyeing various insurance assets for quite some time. 

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