Sub-Prime Woes Spreading Down Under

Jul 27 2007 | 11:58am ET

A second Australian hedge fund—this one partially owned by ABN Amro—is singing the sub-prime blues, suspending redemptions for three months due to liquidity issues in the global credit markets.

Sydney-based Absolute Capital’s troubles are nothing compared to its neighbor Basis Capital Fund Management, which said last week it had missed margin calls and that its funds could lose half their value. But in a note to investors posted on its Web site, Absolute said withdrawals from its Yield Strategies Fund and Yield Strategies Fund NZD—with combined assets of AU$200 million—will be suspended until Oct. 25. Absolute sought to reassure its clients, however, writing that the funds’ exposure to the U.S. sub-prime market was less than 5% and that the funds would only be down 4% to 6% in July.

“Absolute Capital believes a temporary closure of the Funds is the best defensive measure to protect the longer-term interests of our investors and to ensure equity amongst all investors as we manage any withdrawal requests, given the current illiquid nature of the Funds’ investments,” Deon Joubert, Absolute’s group managing director, wrote.

Absolute said that very few investors have filed withdrawal requests.

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