Phibro Hedge Fund Battered In August, Down Almost 12% This Year

Sep 22 2010 | 12:19pm ET

The year 2010 has been something of a rude awakening for Citigroup’s former star energy trading, and an even ruder one for the investors who have poured more than $1 billion into his new hedge fund.

Phibro head Andrew Hall’s Astenback Capital Management continued its losing ways in August, falling a further 2.74%. And while this year has been a tough one for commodity hedge funds everywhere, it’s been particularly hard on Astenback, which is down 11.94% through the year’s first eight months.

By contrast, the average commodity hedge fund is down about 2% on the year.

The Westport, Conn.-based firm may be turning things around this month. One investor told MarketWatch that the same cyclical investments that served the firm so well during the first four months of the year have begun performing well again this month.

Astenback was set up last year by Hall and Phibro’s new owners, Occidental Petroleum—Phibro continues to manage money exclusively for Occidental, as it once did for Citi. The firm has raised more than $2 billion for its flagship Offshore Commodities II Fund, an onshore version of that fund, and two oil hedge funds. The battered flagship is currently closed to new investors.

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