Halbis Gears Up To Launch India-Focused Hedge Fund

Mar 22 2007 | 2:18pm ET

Halbis, the active asset management arm of the HSBC Group, on April 2 will launch its India Alpha Fund, a long/short vehicle. The Caymans-based, Dublin-listed hedge fund will launch with some $200 million in initial equity, according to Bill Maldonado, head of alternative investments at Halbis. The firm is aiming to raise $500 million for the fund.

The new fund will trade in mid- and large-cap stocks and will have an average net exposure of some 20%. “So it’ll be much more market neutral than your average India hedge fund,” said Maldonado. “Most other India-focused hedge funds tend to be much more long bias. This is a fundamental stock-picking strategy with a bottom up approach and a pairs trading approach where we would look for valuation anomalies within a sector between two or more stocks.”

Maldonado believes that the new fund is in a good position to take advantage of the Indian equities market, which tends to be quite volatile and rumor driven. “We’re a much more valuation driven manager than nearly all managers out there and, therefore, we can take advantage of the noise that those types of rumor and momentum drivers create,” he said.

The portfolio manager for the new fund is Sanjiv Duggal, who is supported by Indian equities specialists Manish Srivastava and Viresh Mehta.

Halbis currently manages $1 billion in hedge fund assets and $85 billion in total alpha assets (long-only mandates).


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