The benchmark Eurekahedge Hedge Fund Index was up 0.36% in February, while the MSCI World Index was down 1.43% over the month. Total assets under management increased by US$0.89 billion as the sector witnessed performance-based declines of US$4.74 billion while registering net asset inflows of US$5.63 billion. The total size of the industry now stands at US$ 2.22 trillion.
The Eurekahedge Hedge Fund Index gained 0.36% in February while underlying markets as represented by the MSCI World Index declined 1.43% over the same period. Among regional mandates, Japanese managers posted the steepest loss down 3.83% during the month followed by Asia ex-Japan hedge funds which saw losses of 1.78%. Across strategies, CTA/managed futures hedge funds led the table with gains of 2.62% propped up by exposure into safe haven assets such as gold and the Bund.
Hedge funds bounced into positive territory in February despite volatile market conditions – up 0.36% during the month, outperforming underlying markets as the MSCI World Index declined 1.43% over the same period. The global risk-on mode continued into February as investors fled to safety with yields on sovereign bonds particularly the Bund, ending lower as investors anticipate Draghi’s stimulus shots in the ECB’s coming March meeting. Over in Asia, much of the equity market weakness was led by the Japanese markets as dovish comments from Janet Yellen sent the yen appreciating mid-month.
The North American hedge fund industry continues to grow despite muted returns in 2015 when a challenging market environment saw underlying managers post sub-zero returns in what was the worst year for managers since the lows of 2008. However, not all was doom and gloom. North American managers running Asia Pacific, broad emerging market and European mandates ended 2015 in the green, while across strategic mandate arbitrage strategies; in particular managers employing volatility based strategies post good returns.
Eurekahedge’s global hedge funds 2015 overview infographic sums up the industry for the past year. Find out more about hedge fund assets under management (AUM), asset flows into strategic and regional mandates, launches and closures, lifespan of active and obsolete funds, and the best and worst performances of the year.
Christopher Peck has been in the industry with 16 years of experience in Japan and Singapore and currently focuses on resources and mezzanine debt at Maiora Asset Management. Maiora Asset Management is advisor to the Maiora Asian Structured Finance Fund which invests mostly in primary loans with outstanding risk reward characteristics across Asia Pacific. The fund focuses on Japanese Mezzanine Real Estate debt, but has also provided a bridge loan for solar plants in Japan as well as a senior loan in an Indonesian coal mine.
Noemi Holecz, a risk and portfolio manager of Loyal Explorer Fund shares how the fund stands out from competition through advanced quantitative methodologies utilised by Colombus Investment Management.
"Volatility strategies are distinct and non-homogeneous, making it critical to segregate into separate categories to effectively analyze and properly benchmark performance. The CBOE Eurekahedge Volatility Indexes were specifically created to address this challenge and, based on our analysis, we strongly believe they provide a robust and innovative solution to volatility-based strategy benchmarking and due diligence."
What's happening on UCITS V? Where are we on implementation? Are we nearly there yet? Yes and no. The UCITS V directive comes into force on 18 March 2016. But additional implementing rules (known as 'Level 2') on the duties of UCITS depositaries and management companies dealing with those depositaries have yet to be finalised and will not come into effect until (at earliest) the third quarter of 2016. ESMA has consulted on but not yet finalised its additional guidelines ('Level 3') on sound remuneration policies for UCITS and AIFMD managers. There are various transitional arrangements affecting management companies' remuneration and fund disclosure requirements. There is likely to be further guidance from the FCA once Levels 2 and 3 have been finalised.
In early 2016, popular opinion on the utility and function of offshore centres (OFCs) or, to use the more inflammatory term, tax havens, must be close to an all-time low. The general view, stirred up by cash-strapped governments and the media, is that the vast majority of the world’s wealth is hidden away in secret island jurisdictions, controlled by shady businessmen and inaccessible to the common man. Hamish Masson writes.
The February 2016 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 Islamic funds and private equity funds.
The Eurekahedge Hedge Fund Index lost 1.20% in January while underlying markets as represented by the MSCI World Index were down 5.71%. All regional mandates were down during the month as global equities faced intense sell-off pressure; much of the weakness in equity markets was led by Asian equities. Asia ex-Japan managers posted losses of 3.15% during the month followed by Japanese hedge funds which saw losses of 2.71%. Across strategies, CTA/managed futures hedge funds led the table with gains of 2.32% during the month while other strategies languished in negative territory.
January was not a happy start to the year for hedge funds as managers witnessed a drag in performance - down 1.20% during the month, as investor panic induced strong downward pressure on equity markets leading to a sell-off and the resulting capital flight to safe havens. The MSCI World Index declined 5.71% over the same period with much of the weakness in the global equity markets being led by Asia. Indeed, all eyes were on Asia in January as developments in East Asian economies along with a tumbling oil price took centre stage and sent ripples throughout the region and beyond.
The Islamic finance industry has traditionally served the needs of the Muslim population which accounts for a quarter of the world’s population. This niche market operates by a different investment philosophy as opposed to a traditional investment philosophy which the rest of the world is more familiar with. The key characteristic that differentiates Islamic funds from other conventional funds is that it provides services to its investors inside a Shariah-compliant framework, prohibiting transactions considered to be unethical under Islamic law, engaging in products that are compliant with Islamic guidelines and promoting greater social justice by sharing risk and reward. In recent years, Islamic finance has been catching on with traditional finance institutions as international banks have expanded into providing Islamic finance services.
The Eurekahedge 50 (EH50) index was designed to represent the exposures and experience of institutional hedge fund investors. Seeking to create a more selective benchmark reflective of diversified, institutional-quality multi-manager portfolios, Markov Processes International (MPI), in partnership with Eurekahedge, launched this unique Index in December 2014. After its first full year, the industry’s first measure of the collective performance of top hedge funds delivered better risk-adjusted returns with fewer turnovers than all-inclusive hedge fund indices.
In 2010 the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) eliminated the private fund adviser exemption. Prior to Dodd-Frank, many managers to hedge funds and private equity funds relied on this exemption from registration as investment advisers. After Dodd-Frank, many private investment fund managers were required to register with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as investment advisers. These investment advisers are now subject to significant on-going compliance obligations and examination by the SEC.
The Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No.2) Ordinance 2015 (the ‘Amendment Ordinance’) came into effect on July 17, 2015, extending Hong Kong profits tax exemption to offshore private equity (PE) funds.
It is observed that various misconceptions about Islamic banking are disseminated by many who criticise Islamic banking. Islamic banking is becoming an important part of today’s banking industry with increasing market share across the globe. It is therefore essential to know the basis of such misconceptions about this growing industry. In this article, Chowdhury Shahed Akbar attempts to discuss to a greater extent about some issues which are relevant to the origin of the misconceptions.
In 2014, the SEC formed the Private Funds Unit (PFU), a multi-disciplinary task force designed to specifically address matters that had surfaced during their initial round of ‘presence examinations’ for private funds, which commenced in 2012. Since that time, much has happened. Examinations revealed material weaknesses and deficiencies among private equity firms in the areas of valuation, performance reporting, disclosure to limited partners and conflicts of interest. The staff of the SEC has commenced enforcement actions against a number of private equity firms and indicated that the industry can expect additional enforcement actions related to the above issues.
The January 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 Asian hedge funds.
The Eurekahedge Hedge Fund Index lost 0.70% in December while underlying markets as represented by the MSCI World Index were down 2.23%. The performance of regional mandates was mixed during the month with Asia ex-Japan managers leading the table with gains of 1.45% followed by Japanese managers up 0.27%. Meanwhile the performance of European managers was flat, while Latin American and North American hedge funds languished, down 0.60% and 0.94% respectively during the month.
2015 did not end with much pomp and circumstance and was a challenging year for managers. Hedge funds ended 2015 on a low note with the Eurekahedge Hedge Fund Index down 0.70% in December, while the MSCI World Index declined 2.23% during the month. Overall for 2015, hedge funds were up 1.45% (their lowest annual return on record since 2011) amid a challenging market environment. Meanwhile underlying markets as represented by the MSCI World Index ended the year in the red, down 0.48%.
Market calamity took Asian hedge funds on a rough ride in 2015, and despite facing financial storms, Asian hedge funds have recorded positive assets under management (AUM) growth in the last quarter of 2015 with the industry’s total asset base growing by US$9.5 billion as of November 2015 year-to-date, bringing the total size of the industry to reach US$171 billion, managed by 1,423 hedge funds.
For many years, the private fund industry and the securities bar have called for a limited rule set to govern broker-dealers solely engaged in raising capital for private funds or other issuers of unregistered securities or in merger and acquisition advisory activities. These broker-dealers would share several common traits: they do not execute securities transactions, accept orders to purchase or sell securities, introduce or carry customer accounts, handle customer funds or securities, or participate in principal transactions or market making activity.
Singapore’s prowess as a global financial hub is undeniable and while there have been efforts made to position itself in the Islamic financial markets, these have not translated into the success story many have hoped for. Vineeta Tan provides a breakdown of the Lion City’s Islamic finance ecosystem.
On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (the ’FAST Act’). The legislation primarily related to the federal transportation matters, but lurking toward its end is an amendment to the Securities Act of 1933 (the ‘Securities Act’) establishing a new registration exemption for private resales of securities. The exemption is embodied in new §4(a)(7) of the Securities Act. It is largely based on (but does not replace) the so-called ‘Section 4(a)(1-½) exemption’ that securities lawyers have developed over time under the SEC’s eye.