The March 2015 Eurekahedge Report contains qualitative and quantitative analyses on the industry's assets flows and performance over the past month, with a special feature on key trends in North American hedge funds.
Hedge funds edged even higher in February to close at another record high, with the Eurekahedge Hedge Fund Index gaining 1.57%, though underperforming underlying markets as the MSCI World Index gained 5.47% after equities surged higher during the month. A return of investor risk appetite and easy monetary policy pushed equities into record territory, while volatility faded away with investors gaining further confidence in the market’s strength.
Hedge funds extended their gains in the second month of 2015, returning 1.57%, although falling behind underlying markets as the MSCI World Index was up 5.47%. Global equity markets rose in unison during February with a return of investor risk appetite as the market downplayed fears of contagion from a possible ‘Grexit’; further supported by accommodative monetary policies from central banks around the world. Volatility faded away along with increased investor confidence and rising equity markets with the CBOE VIX falling from 20.97 to 13.34.
North American hedge funds recorded excellent growth over the past 13 months despite a slowdown in the pace of expansion since the second half of 2014, raising the region’s share of assets under management (AUM) by another US$93.8 billion to approximately two thirds of the global hedge fund industry. As of January 2015, the total AUM of the North American hedge fund industry is closing in on the US$1.45 trillion mark and stands at US$1.447 trillion managed by a total of 5,267 hedge funds.
Launched on 1 July 2014, GCI Systematic Macro Fund has delivered triple-digit return as of the end of February 2015. Taking into account the performance of the managed account which employs the same strategy was started on 3 February in the same year, it has attained 167% as of the end of February 2015.
The Hong Kong government has announced in its latest budget a planned extension of the existing offshore funds tax exemption to bring offshore private equity funds investing in or through Hong Kong, within its scope. The scope of the amendment will not only bring private companies within the exemption, but will also include SPVs which may be Hong Kong incorporated provided they are owned by an offshore person. This is a significant and welcome development for private equity funds investing in or through Hong Kong (typically into China) that will put private equity funds on a par with hedge funds when investing in Hong Kong. It is expected that the government will introduce the draft legislation in the first half of 2015.
Conventional asset management has seen impressive growth over the last few decades and funds have become a well-established financial product. However, Shariah compliant asset management remains a niche within conventional asset management. Why is Islamic asset management, Pierre Oberlé asks, still small and how can it further develop?