Martin Currie Cuts China Hedge Fund

Dec 12 2012 | 12:06pm ET

Martin Currie Investment Managers has decided to close its China-focused hedge fund at the end of a two-year period that saw the departures of the fund's managers and a regulatory slap on the wrist for a conflict of interest.

Martin Currie has hired a liquidator to wind down the fund, which debuted in 2002, Asian Investor reports. The fund currently manages less than US$10 million, a far cry from the US$200 million it boasted just two years ago.

A spokesman for Martin Currie said the decision was "driven by its small scale and low expectations of future growth."

The China Fund managed double-digit returns on an annualized basis for its first eight years. But in the middle of last year, co-manager Chris Ruffle left amidst the early rumblings that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and U.K. Financial Services Authority were probing potential conflicts of interest at the fund. It was eventually fined US$14 million, more than it currently manages.

Ruffle and the fund's other co-manager, Ke Shifeng, who left shortly after Ruffle, launched a new hedge fund, Open Door Capital Group, earlier this year. James Chong has handled the fund's management since then.

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