New Asian Hedge Funds Shy Away From Equities

Jun 12 2009 | 12:11pm ET

After a brutal 2008 for both Asian stocks and hedge funds, startups in the region are understandably gun-shy about investing in equities, according to data from Eurekahedge and GFIA.

About 32 new hedge funds in the region have launched strategies that do more than invest in stocks, Bloomberg News reports. Asian hedge funds have traditionally been more equities-heavy than the average global hedge fund: About 65% of Asian hedge funds trade the asset class exclusively, compared to just 44% of the hedge fund industry as a whole.

That bias burned Asian hedge funds in a big way as stocks in the region tumbled more than 40%. While hedge funds in Europe and the U.S. had no picnic last year, Asian hedge fund managers had it even worse, falling more than 20% on average.

According to GFIA, 17 new hedge funds opened their doors in the first five months of this year, with another 15 likely. GFIA’s Peter Douglas said the firm expects a net increase in the number of Asian hedge funds through next year, good news for an industry that saw a record 180 hedge funds go under last year.

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