AIG Alternatives Portfolio Profits Plunge

May 12 2008 | 10:09am ET

American International Group said its hedge fund investments were “a real laggard” in the first quarter. It wasn’t kidding.

The world’s largest insurer by assets said its alternative investments portfolio produced just $197 million in assets, a staggering 84% decline from the year-earlier period, when it earned $1.22 billion. AIG blamed the credit crisis for the weakened hedge fund and private equity performance.

Alternatives were not the only credit-crisis linked losses for AIG last quarter: The firm swung to a $7.81 billion loss on subprime- and housing market-linked losses. The insurer turned a $4.13 billion profit in the first quarter of last year.

About 3.5% of AIG’s investment portfolio, or $29.4 billion, is invested in alternatives.

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