Highbridge Halts Withdrawals From Asia Fund

Dec 2 2008 | 9:23am ET

JPMorgan Chase’s Highbridge Capital Management is limiting redemptions from its Asia hedge fund.

The $1.9 billion Asia Opportunities Fund is down 32% this year. Investors who made redemption requests are to get half of their money back by the end of next month, with the rest to come over the next 12 to 18 months. In the meantime, Highbridge will place the fund’s more illiquid assets into a side pocket in an effort to avoid a forced sale at distressed prices.

As part of the restructuring, Highbridge will cut the fund’s management fee from 2% to 1.5%. Asia Opportunities is managed by Carl Huttenlocher, who is no stranger to hedge fund difficulties: He was head trader at Long-Term Capital Management, which was the largest-ever hedge fund collapse when it went under 10 years ago.

Asia Opportunities is not the only Highbridge fund suffering huge redemption requests. Investors in its flagship multistrategy fund have asked to yank more than 36% of its assets, The Wall Street Journal reports.

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