Top Japanese Hedge Fund Shop To Close

Feb 4 2009 | 1:44am ET

One of the best-performing hedge fund managers in Japan is calling it quits, because of a dramatic decline in commodities trading volume.

Kanetsu Asset Management will close its doors in March, Bloomberg News reports. While the firm’s DragonHorse hedge fund was among the best in Japan last year, returning 27%, the firm’s quantitative models have become less viable as commodities trading volumes fall.

“Performance wasn’t enough to cover operating costs,” Takashi Ogura, president of Kanetsu, told Bloomberg. “The outlook remains bleak and it is not a profitable business for us.” He said that the firm’s parent and shareholders decided to close the 14-year-old firm last month.

Kanetsu will close DragonHorse and its other two hedge funds. The firm focused mainly on Japanese markets trading gold, platinum, gasoline, corn, rubber and coffee. One of its other hedge funds, Sea Breeze, was also among Japan’s best performers last year, returning 11%.

Kanetsu has some ¥800 million (US$8.9 million) in assets under management.

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