RAS Launches India-Focused Arb Fund Of Funds

Apr 18 2008 | 2:00am ET

New York- and Mumbai, India-based RAS Capital Management has launched an India-focused arbitrage-only fund of hedge funds.

The RAS India Absolute Return Fund, which debuted in January, is a carve-out of the firm’s flagship multi-strategy fund of funds, RAS India Fund-of Funds, which launched in November 2006. In its first three months of trading, co-founder Robert Rahbari said the new offering is approximately flat.

India Absolute Return is a multi-strat arbitrage vehicle with exposure to relative value, cash-futures, pair trading, statistical, volatility and convertible bond arbitrage. There are currently four managers in the portfolio. Rahbari said the fund is actively seeking new managers, but that it is limiting its exposure to five managers this year because “a lot of the trades tend to be similar.”

In addition, Rahbari said the firm is in the initial stage of planning a seeding platform for emerging India-focused managers. The platform will launch later on this year or by early next year.

RAS’ flagship fund of funds finished 2007 up 42%, though this year it is down “in the high teens, but significantly less than Indian markets,” said Rahbari, adding that “anything in the equities space was hit pretty hard.”

Rahbari, a chief compliance officer at Ferro Capital, co-founded RAS with Rohit Aggarwal, a former executive director with Oppenheimer & Co., and Anand Sekaran, founder of Wasson Capital Advisors.

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